By Alex McLeish

27th Jul, 2021 | 9:58am

Ex-manager tells puny Johnston to get in the gym and 'bulk up' after new Celtic blow

Alex McLeish has admitted he fears Mikey Johnston will never fulfil his “fantastic potential” after another injury blow at Celtic.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested fitness issues may hamper the 22-year-old throughout his career and urged him to “bulk up” in the gym.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun (July 20th), Ange Postecoglou confirmed both Johnston and Karamoko Dembele picked up “fairly significant injuries” in the friendly against Bristol City.

The Australian boss revealed the duo would be out for no less than a month.

Johnston struggled for game time last season after recovering from a collateral ligament injury suffered in January 2020.

McLeish admitted he worries the young winger will never demonstrate his full ability.

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“Mikey has some fantastic potential there,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“We’ve seen it over the years and he’s never quite got that level of consistency. Consistency of selection and consistency of staying fit.

“Any footballer can have that kind of problem following him all through his career. Despite being a great player, they don’t quite shake off those injury problems.

“Every time they come back there’s a wee niggle and Mikey’s just got to work hard in the gym. Try and bulk up.

“I don’t know if it’s a certain muscle that’s the problem, only the Celtic medical team will know that.

“Certainly, for an exciting young talent, it’s a shame we haven’t seen enough of him.”

Johnston returned from his serious injury layoff in December 2020.

However, he only made 10 appearances during the second half of the season.

In total, he has played 59 times for Celtic, with 11 goals and nine assists under his belt.

In other news, Celtic icon blown away by “incredible” new Parkhead signing.