Johnson eager to keep Killie place

PA Sport
Lee Johnson hopes his performance in win over Celtic will allow him run in Kilmarnock side
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Lee Johnson hopes his performance in win over Celtic will allow him run in Kilmarnock side

Lee Johnson is determined to help Kilmarnock build on their memorable victory over Celtic in a bid to remain in manager Kenny Shiels' plans.

The midfielder has struggled to hold down a regular place in the top team this season but was back in the side for last week's 2-0 victory at Parkhead. He believes the whole team earned pass marks on that occasion and hopes another impressive display against Inverness will allow him to hold onto the jersey.

Johnson said: "Of course it's frustrating when you're not playing. But I'm fully behind it here, I love it here and I'm very keen to do well.

"I've got the shirt at the moment and, the way I look at it, if we keep winning and keep performing, I'll retain that shirt.

"I was pleased with the whole team ethic and performance against Celtic and I was part of that, which is nice. There is no better feeling than when you put a shift in and everybody around you has as well and you get a great team win like that."

With Rangers now plying their trade in the Irn-Bru Third Division, many believed Celtic would simply cruise to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title this season. But Johnson believes the rest of the teams have shown they do possess enough quality to ensure an exciting competition.

He said: "Coming up from England, I don't think the gap is as big as everyone thinks it is up here. There are a lot of good players at the other non-Old Firm clubs.

"As we have seen this year, no-one is guaranteed three points. There are a lot of coupon killers. We know, on our day, we can beat anyone in this division. On the flip side, we know we have to be on it too because other teams have quality in this league.

"Without being disrespectful to Celtic, they do have some fantastic players, but there is not much world-class, like there might have been in previous decades and seasons.

"Having played against quite a lot of the players before, yes, they are great players but they are beatable. If you can get a team spirit, the fans behind you and that work rate for each other, any team can do well this year and that's what we are aiming to do."

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