DCSIMG

One year, two league titles for Stefan Johansen

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  • by ALAN PATTULLO
 

HIGH achiever Stefan Johansen has outdone even Celtic team-mate Leigh Griffiths on the title front.

While Griffiths waits to hear whether former club Wolverhampton Wanderers have won the League One championship in England, Johansen already has a league-winning medal in his possession for this season after helping Stromsgodset win the title in Norway late last year.

He secured a second title medal at Firhill on Wednesday when contributing a goal as Celtic overcame Partick Thistle with a 5-1 victory. As happened when Stromsgodset won a long awaited championship, supporters swarmed on to the pitch despite a warning relayed across the Tannoy system that the players would not return to the pitch if such an invasion occurred.

The buoyant Johansen is not in the mood to reproach anyone. “In Norway, it was exactly the same – the fans were storming the pitch,” he said. “Maybe it was different because, at Celtic, we are expected to win the championship whereas, with Stromsgodset, we had not won it for 43 years so it was a huge, huge thing. But I can assure you that it’s the same great feeling that I have now that I had then.

“I have won two titles now in six months – but I will be playing in Europe for Celtic,” he added, as he contemplated the next task – to reach the Champions League group stage.

“I am going forward every day and I think that shows on the pitch,” he added.

“First I got into the team and now I am scoring goals. It’s still early days but I am so happy to be here. I’m enjoying myself in Glasgow. Of course, having such a good start here will help me but it’s up to yourself as a player – you can’t come to a big club like Celtic and not deal with the pressure. I knew I would need to cope with that before I came but the biggest pressure comes from myself.”

Having now established himself in the team due to the departure of Joe Ledley, Johansen is not desperate to take a rest. However, he is aware that he has been playing football for a long period without a significant break.

“I’m scoring goals now and I am getting to know the other players a little better every day so I’m not looking for a rest – to hell with the break!” he said.

“Obviously, it’s good to have a holiday sometimes but I’ve only played here since January and I had my holiday in December. But we will be ready for the Champions League qualification when the time comes.

“I could have played there with Stroms but Celtic is one of the biggest teams in Europe so, when I got the chance to come here, I took it.

“I had a holiday in December and it is important sometimes to take a break. But we will be ready for Champions League qualification.”

 

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