Brendan Rodgers tells Celtic player he needs to improve

SS Lazio v Celtic FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
SS Lazio v Celtic FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Silvia Lore/GettyImages

Celtic are in an interesting position right now. Even though we are in December, it does not feel like Brendan Rodgers knows his best starting XI. A large of that has been down to injuries, with several players having to spend time out on the sidelines. But as things stand, it feels like there are a number of positions which are up for grabs with no nailed-on starters.

With Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada out injured, the Hoops could certainly do with a settled option on the flank. Yang Hyun-jun has failed to impress. And James Forrest is no longer the player he was in his prime.

Mikey Johnston impressed in the game against St Johnstone after coming off the bench and was handed a rare start on Hibernian's visit to Parkhead. Unfortunately, the Republic of Ireland was not able to have the same impact this time around.

Johnston was substituted around the hour mark. And Rodgers sent him a clear message about needing to do more.

Rodgers tells Celtic player he needs to improve

As reported by the Daily Record, Rodgers told Sportsound:

"Mikey needs to do more, that is the reality. He has big talent and comes into the game but if you are going to start the game, we need more impact from him but that is something we can hopefully see over the course of time."

So, it is clear that the manager was not impressed with Johnston's recent performance. But some sort of inconsistency is to be expected considering how little football the winger has played this season so far.

Johnston needs to have a run of games before he can show what he is truly capable of, as more wingers do. Now, it remains to be see if he will get many more chances or not.

One would expect the likes of Maeda and Abada to return soon. And it is pretty safe to say that both of them are ahead of Johnston in the pecking order at the moment. So, the 24-year-old needs to make an impression quickly.