Everything Celtic right-back Alistair Johnston had to say ahead of the Scottish Cup final against Inverness...

I take it the fact that you’re sitting here means that you're fit and raring to go?

I guess so? I’m not sure why I was selected to be honest. I was expecting Callum McGregor to get this job as usual! I feel good. I don’t think anyone at this point in the season is fully fit and it's just about getting through it. We've definitely done some work on it, so I feel like I'm in a decent enough place that if the manager needs me I’ll be ready to go.

It’s the game that you want to be a part of and that you don’t want to miss. How much will it mean to you if you go out there and win another trophy?

100 per cent. it’s an opportunity to lift another trophy. Again, I know the extraordinary becomes the ordinary a little bit at this club with how many trophies they’ve listed over the past decade. Still, for guys like me, this is my third-ever trophy in my entire career, and I know Callum’s probably on 40 or whatever it is, but even for him when you see how much excitement and joy it brings to him and guys like James Forrest – he might be on 50 for all I know! You can really tell how much it means to the guys. When you see that from the older guys who have been there and done that, especially as a new guy you're like “Okay, yeah, this is really big” Like I said, I’d love to be a part of it, we’ll see what the manager decides. But either way, I’ll be ready to go.

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You go into most games domestically as big favourites, you lead into this one as huge favourites, how do you guard against any possible complacency?

It's human nature to be complacent. But at the same time in all of our league matches mainly you could probably say that we are the favourites going into them and again we just don’t let that kind of noise creep into it. I think there's a level of confidence in this group, which is deserved and warranted, but there's no arrogance. I think you can see that with how we play. We respect every single opponent but at the same time, we know that if we come out and stick to our game plan and we stick to the system the manager wants that we feel really confident. If we put in a performance like that then we will come out on top. So, it's no different this match, we respect them 100 per cent, and we know that again they’ve had 4 weeks off or whatever it is to prepare for us mentally and physically. So, they're going to know every little inside and out of our system but at the same time we’re ready for that and we understand that, and we've just got to stick to our system and our principles and if we do that we feel confident.

You seem like you’ve always really embraced everything that goes around this place and the occasion and the achievements to win the treble. You think back to your decision to come to this club. How will you look back on all of it if you get it over the line?

It's exactly why I signed up for this club. This is a club that trophies are expected and again when see over the past decade not only the trophies but the trebles that have been won, you kind of feel like you almost take it for granted a little bit that “Celtic won another one, it's not that big a deal.” But now being here and truly understanding and seeing the work that goes on behind the scenes and just the amount of effort that each guy puts in. It really rings true to me like wow, each one of these is special. Just because some guys have won a lot of them it doesn’t make that next one any less special. I'm just really excited to be in a position where I can potentially be walking out of here after six months of being here with a treble. I think that is everything and more that I could have asked for but again when I came in those were the expectations that were put on me and that’s what I was told was expected in this group: “Trophies or nothing”, so I'm truly happy that we're delivering for our fans so far but again this is going to be a big match at the weekend. It's not going to be easy but we feel confident in ourselves, and we’re happy with where we're at. We're in a really good place, so no we’re excited for this one.

You say that you don’t let the noise creep in. At the moment, there's so much noise surrounding the manager...

Oh, is there? I didn’t know!

Have you seen it?

Trust me, we all hear the noise and we've got Sky Sports on, and it seems like every other story that’s running is that one. It comes from the top down for us. Cal (McGregor) doesn’t let any noise in, and the gaffer definitely doesn’t let any noise, so this ship is steering straight where it needs to go – right to that cup final. Just don’t let that kind of stuff creep into the building in terms of letting guys’ heads turn or any of that. Again, that’s super important and I think that goes to show why this club has been so successful that we don’t let that kind of stuff affect players and you can always tell when someone’s head is turned or something’s going on and they play just a little bit off or they don’t truly feel all the way there but that’s not been the case at all at my time here, even when guys were leaving and guys did leave that January window – everyone was still training as hard as possible up to the day they left. I found that very impressive. Again, that comes from the top down, you're not allowed to have a wandering eye, and you're not allowed to have any of that here because if you do, you're going to get found out and the squad is so deep that you'll be out of the squad as quickly as that so that’s what we have here, and I think that’s really special. So again, I know there's a lot of talk, but we're not bothered, we’re not fussy or worrying about that, we're just focused on this cup final.

So, the manager this week, it's just been training as usual, he's just been his typical self?

100 per cent, yeah it's just been the gaffer as I know him, and I don’t think anyone was expecting anything different.

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You’ve had obviously a short spell here so far; you’ve seen the potential of what Celtic can achieve. How much is there a feeling from you that with Ange at the helm and this squad that there is so much that you can still achieve together?

Yeah, it’s a great point. I've just gotten here, and he was a big reason - just talking to him and seeing how he plays in his goals for the club and his goals not only domestically but in the Champions League as well. I think that talking to the group – obviously I wasn’t here for the Champions League the run this year – but the guys felt that they left a little on the table in terms of getting more done and the performances were strong, but the results weren’t. I think everyone was really excited to have another crack at it. Again, I think with what we're building to is that this team since I've walked in the door – I feel like we've been flying. Obviously, we've had a bit of a down month or two but at the same time I think the training levels are there and we have a lot of really determined and hungry individuals that want to show at that level and prove that Celtic – just because we play in Scotland doesn’t mean that we can't compete with those kind of massive European clubs. So, I think that’s something that’s really important to us, and important to the manager as well. And again, so were really looking forward to that and that’s why it was important to make sure that we won the league not only for the trophy but also to make sure we’re in the Champions League and we have another chance for next year to really show the progression that we've made under the manager and that we’re even going to be a stronger team than the one everyone saw this past season.

That’s almost been the narrative of this week, of Spurs that Ange has been linked with, looking at the positives and negatives of Celtic and Spurs and seeing what's bigger and what club’s bigger. I suppose for you that’s an easy question, being here and seeing the trophies, does it make the club in that sense that this is a huge club with so much potential?

It’s a massive club. Again, it’s a worldwide brand. People who don’t even follow football know who Celtic are and I think that goes to show exactly how big this club is. Again, you look at the trophy haul that we have, it's impressive, it rivals anyone in the world. That’s important, that means something, not only to us as players but to the whole fanbase and that’s what makes it so special being a part of this. I've only been here five months, but I've already got a chance to add a third one since I've been here and I feel like I've played a small part, even if it's just a tiny part but I feel that I have helped this club’s history so that’s something that’s special to myself and at the end of the day that’s what football is about – winning matches and trophies. That’s something that we've been fortunate enough to do at this club. Hopefully, there's plenty more to come.