MIKEY JOHNSTON is determined to put a miserable 2020 behind him after returning to fitness and getting back amongst the goals at Celtic.

The 21-year-old, who has come through the youth ranks at Parkhead, spent almost an entire year on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury against St Johnstone this time last year.

The Scotland youth internationalist made his long-awaited return to the first team during his side’s 2-0 win over Kilmarnock last month and admits that his prolonged absence from Neil Lennon’s matchday squad was hard to take at times.

He told CelticTV: “It makes me so happy being on the pitch and obviously, being out for so long was hard.

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“There’s a lot of hard work that has to go in to get myself back to where I am so I’m just happy to be back on the pitch with the boys again.

“It can be frustrating – especially in the games where we’ve been struggling a bit recently.

“We weren’t even allowed to go to the games some weeks because of the Covid stuff. That was tough – having to watch it from the couch in the house.

“It was tough but I’m just happy to be back.”

Johnston has been limited to appearances off the bench since returning to the first-team fold and while the winger made an impression in Celtic’s victory over Hearts in last season’s delayed Scottish Cup final, successfully converting from 12 yards during the shoot-out win, the attacker admits that a miss would have haunted him for years.

“I thought it would be a good way to bounce back after being out for so long,” he said of his successful penalty.

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"It would have been something that I probably would have regretted for the rest of my life. Scoring a penalty in the Scottish Cup final – I’m just buzzing that I’ve done it.”

Johnston added that he and his team-mates have been put through their paces at their winter training camp in Dubai, insisting that the defeat to Rangers on their last league outing hasn’t damaged morale.

“They’ve been hard and the heat definitely makes it a lot harder,” Johnston said of the training camp. “The sessions have been good though – good, competitive and the boys have been working really hard.

“Obviously the defeat to Ibrox was a tough one for us to take but everyone is out here with a good mindset and we’re working hard every day.”