MIKEY JOHNSTON may not have played too much under previous Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, spending a fair chunk of the time he was in Glasgow out on loan in Portugal. But it seems that he picked up a little of the Australian’s famous stubborn streak when it comes to his attacking principles.

That is a responsibility that comes, in Johnston’s view, with wearing a Celtic jersey. And it appears his current manager, Brendan Rodgers, thinks an adherence to the fabled ‘Celtic way’ of playing also comes with standing in the dugout. No matter what.

So, while the Scottish champions may have now gone a British record 15 group stage matches without a win in the Champions League after the defeat to Lazio on Tuesday evening, ending their hopes of European football after Christmas, don’t bank on them changing tack any time soon.

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Despite the fact that Celtic have lost 10 goals in three away games in the tournament this season, and 14 in 5 overall so far, Johnston is adamant that the feeling within the club is that they aren’t too far away from earning some success, and that the best recipe for that is to be themselves.

“It was disappointing [against Lazio],” Johnston said.

“It seems like the same old story where we play well but don’t get the result. It feels like we’re close but just not quite getting there at the minute.

“In the end we were attacking, we were going for it, we needed to win. It’s just the way we play, we want to attack all the time.

“It’s not paid off so far, but this is the way Celtic play and it’s what we will keep doing.

“We’re moving in the right direction. We’re playing football and going toe to toe with teams and that’s what we want to do.

“Coming away from home we might need to adapt the way we play a bit. But look, we need to go and finish the campaign on a high now and hopefully get a result at home in front of our fans.

“The manager has said the same as what I’m saying. He likes the way we are playing. He knows we are trying to play the football he wants to play and obviously results haven’t come yet.

“This is his first year back here in Europe so I’m sure there’s a lot more to come for us.

Even though the Celtic squad are retaining their bullishness, Johnston does concede that the run of losses at the top level has affected them, if not quite their commitment to their attacking ethos.

“The dressing room was pretty down after that defeat,” he said.

“We don’t want to be losing every game. We want results, ultimately that’s what it comes down to.

“The boys are absolutely gutted with the way it’s gone. [But] I wouldn’t say that run is playing on people’s minds. It’s tough to say.

“Maybe before you could say we played differently and you see results we had against, for instance, Barcelona, and maybe people would take parking the bus and getting results that way.

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“But we want to play the Celtic way, playing football and getting results that way. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

From a personal point of view, Johnston may well have been disappointed not to start the game against Lazio, given that the only other wingers available on the night were newcomer Yang Hyun-jun and veteran James Forrest, but he was pleased with his contribution when he did eventually replace the tiring Forrest just after the hour.

His first involvement was a direct run at the heart of the Lazio defence that had the Italians panicked before he was ultimately crowded out, and he caused direct opponent Manuel Lazzari a consistent headache for the remainder of the encounter.

Remarkably, the cameo represented the 24-year-old’s first ever Champions League minutes for the club, but he hopes that he has done enough to serve his manager a reminder of what he can bring to the party.

“I feel as if I can make a difference in the team,” Johnston said.

“I’ve been away a while, but I have got my momentum back and my confidence back. There is definitely competition for places.

“I know what I can offer the team. That was my first Champions League game, and while the result wasn’t what we wanted it was great to get that under my belt.

“So, I was happy, but disappointed at the same time. But it’s a moment I will never forget.”