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  • Johnstone's Euro target for young Celts

    Johnstone's Euro target for young Celts

    By: Mark Henderson on 04 Nov, 2013 12:01

  • DENNY Johnstone admits he´s brimming with confidence following a rich vein of form in recent weeks in both domestic and European competition

    The young striker has been among the goals for the Under-20s in the league this season and has also found the net against Barcelona in the UEFA Youth League.

    And while he wasn’t on target in the fantastic 4-1 over Ajax in the same competition, his all-round performance in a lone attacking role came in for plenty of praise from coaching staff and team-mates.  

    The 18-year-old has savoured being part of this inaugural European competition and is looking forward to the return match with Ajax in Amsterdam tomorrow (Tuesday). Ahead of that game, he spoke to the Celtic View.

    You received plenty of plaudits for your performance in the terrific 4-1 UEFA Youth League victory over Ajax recently. That must have been pleasing?
    I was able to show an all-round type of striking role. I held it up well and did well for the team. The only thing I missed out on was the goal but hopefully I can score again in the competition.

    You played a lone-striking position against Ajax, meaning there was a greater onus on you to close down and then bring others in to play. What´s important in playing this role well? 
    When we are under pressure a little bit, it gives us an opportunity to get up the pitch. I think the boys really appreciate it when I can hold it up and buy them a bit of time to get up the park, as it´s difficult when these good teams are passing it around and sometimes I´m the only outlet. 

    Is there a strong self-belief among the squad following the recent impressive form?
    We needed the three points against Ajax a few weeks ago as it just lifted the spirits among the squad. Obviously after the first two defeats, we just desperately needed a result and a performance to push everyone on in the last three games.

    How much have you enjoyed the UEFA Youth League so far?
    I’ve loved it. Obviously, I scored against Barcelona and then I had a good performance against Ajax at home, where I thought all the boys were really good. It´s been great. I would say it´s different to NextGen just because of the whole feel of it. You have the Champions League music on before the games and it does it feel like a Champions League match, so it’s good. 

    Celtic Under-19s play Ajax this Tuesday, November 5 in the UEFA Youth League at Sportpark De Toekomst, Duivendrecht, which is Ajax’s training ground, next to the Amsterdam ArenA.
    The game kicks off at 5pm local time (4pm Celtic Park time) and will be LIVE on Celtic TV. For more details on how you can watch the game, click the banner below.

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