By Alan Hutton

3rd May, 2023 | 8:16am

Alistair Johnston facing lengthy spell on sidelines amid 'big' Celtic claim - pundit

Alan Hutton has suggested Anthony Ralston has been given the perfect opportunity to oust Alistair Johnston from the starting lineup at Celtic.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Rangers defender said it will be hard to get Johnston out the team but urged Ralston to use this period of injury to prove himself to Ange Postecoglou.

Johnston was subbed off in the Hoops 1-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Rangers on Sunday (30 April) after a collision with Borna Barisic.

The right-back could be seen in a boot with crutches in the stands and during the post-match celebrations.

Speaking after the game, Postecoglou is unsure of the extent of the injury but said it was “significant” otherwise he wouldn’t have needed to be replaced.

Ralston has only featured in 11 Premiership games for the Hoops this season.

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Hutton insisted now is his chance to make his mark on the first team.

I think it is a good window for Ralston to go and remind the manager,” he told Football Insider.

“I am sure he is the type of guy who works hard day in day out to try and get back in the squad.

But you want to go and show the manager that you are capable of handling it and this is a great opportunity to go and do that.

There are some big games coming up, there is another Old Firm, the final, these are all games he will want to be involved in. So the ball is in his court, go and show the manager that you are capable of doing that.

Since Johnston came in he has been brilliant and is really going from strength the strength. It will be hard to get him out the team but here is Ralston’s opportunity and he needs to go and grasp it.

In other news, Rangers and Celtic in two-way race to sign Liverpool goalscorer.