MIKEY JOHNSTON says that the Betfred Cup final win over Rangers proved that Celtic have the big game mentality to come through the hectic December schedule still top of the league standings.

The winger came on as a substitute during the hard-fought victory over their city rivals last weekend, and there is no doubt in his mind that the manner in which they refused to be beaten has given the Celtic players a massive mental boost.

And with five games to come between now and the winter break, culminating in the Old Firm derby at Celtic Park on December 29th, Johnston is hoping that he and his teammates can ride the crest of that wave all the way to their training camp in Dubai.

“This is a huge spell for us," Johnston said. "December is always a big month with so many games.

“We’ve been on a great run of form and we want to keep it going. We would be in a good position going in to the New Year if we keep on winning but we have to focus on each game as they are all important.

“It was brilliant to get the first trophy on the board and it was a big psychological boost for us. We didn’t play so well but no one can take away from us the fact we are still the champions and we won the game.

“The result is the main thing in a Cup Final. It showed the huge character we have at this club. There is a real winning mentality.

“We were down to 10 men and really dug in but we’ve showed it a few times this season. There’s games like the win in Italy. These big game performances show what the side is all about.

“We’ll need that mentality in the next few weeks."

Johnston enjoyed a run-out in the match in Cluj on Thursday night despite the 2-0 defeat as he tries to get back to full sharpness following a spell out through injury.

“I want as much game time as I can get at the moment, just to get my fitness back," he said. "I want to make my way into the team again.

“It’s been okay so far. I’ve managed to score a couple of goals and get a few assists but I know I can be a lot better.

“There’s more I can add to my game and be more effective."