Hibs boss Lee Johnson revels in Celtic win but CJ Egan-Riley injury is a concern

Lee Johnson’s first win over the Old Firm has set the scene for a do-or-die Saturday showdown with capital rivals Hearts in the tussle for capital superiority and a fourth-place finish.
Hibs manager Lee Johnson celebrates the 4-2 win over Celtic.Hibs manager Lee Johnson celebrates the 4-2 win over Celtic.
Hibs manager Lee Johnson celebrates the 4-2 win over Celtic.

And, while that is one he is relishing, he was just as thrilled with the victory over Celtic that has made it possible.

"I've banged on about getting points off the Old Firm and this club deserves to be competitive in these games,” said the Easter Road manager. “Taking points off them, and every point you get against those teams is almost like a point and a half in terms of how much it counts for because the others don't get them. St Mirren have had some really good wins and performances against the Old Firm this year and it makes a difference.

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“It was a fantastic win and a big three points against a top team. The fans deserved that and it was nice to send them home happy. We have now set ourselves up for a shootout against Hearts on Saturday. That wasn't a smash and grab win. We went toe to toe with the champions. We have had some good performances but that was right up there, considering the quality of the opposition. I am really proud of the players. They were fantastic.”

Having gone behind just before the interval, the home side battled back not once but twice, before making the most of their extra man advantage after Celtic’s Daizen Maeda’s dismissal. "We have to compete,” added Johnson. “This club deserves to be competitive in these games and budgets are what, eight or nine times what ours are? But that doesn't mean you can't get an organised, motivated, hungry, talented XI plus subs out on the pitch and I think you saw that against Celtic. We were on the front foot and that's what I was so pleased about. We didn't stop, we didn't lose belief, we kept going, and we kept trying to play.”

There are injury concerns ahead of the weekend trip across the capital, though, with CJ Egan-Riley forced off and others, such as Joe Newell, picking up knocks. "CJ is struggling. It looks like he's done his hamstring. Joe Newell is looking more likely to be available; it was two contacts on the shin."