Football: Johnston wrangle no barrier for Scots
Thursday 02 September 1999
Johnston has only played a couple of practice games since the summer after being transfer-listed by Reid when he refused to sign a new contract. He has also been training with the reserves while the dispute has continued.
However, he could make his first competitive start of the season on Saturday when Scotland face Bosnia in their European Championship qualifier in Sarajevo. The match is the first part of a double header, with Craig Brown's side due to face Estonia in Tallinn the following Wednesday.
It has been a frustrating time for Johnston, who has scored in his last two appearances for Scotland, against the Czech Republic and the Faroe Islands. But he now feels there might be a breakthrough at the Stadium of Light and he is due to meet Reid with his agent, possibly at the end of next week.
"Before I left to go to Scotland the manager said he would speak to me when I got back," he said. "Despite all that has happened in the past couple months I don't have a problem with Peter Reid. I need to get everything right about a new deal but I don't won't to dwell on it too much. The manager gave a good report to Craig Brown and it's a great boost to be called up by my country."
Brown admits it is a gamble calling up Johnston but has indicated he will start against Bosnia. "There are others who are in the same boat and have not had much match practice," Brown said. "You look at Colin Hendry, Craig Burley, John Collins and Christian Dailly. But they are all in contention.
"I wouldn't have chosen Johnston in the squad if I hadn't spoken to Peter Reid. Typically he was spitting and swearing about the contract but he wasn't holding it against him. He told me Johnston had been playing in closed-doors games and was flying."
As Hendry and Dailly have both had injury problems recently, Brown will almost certainly decide against using them as a central defensive partnership. Hendry, however, may resume the captaincy as Tom Boyd is injured while Dailly could replace Callum Davidson on the left flank as his Blackburn team-mate is suspended.
Meanwhile, the Tartan Army have been warned not to have a kick-about on waste land in Sarajevo as they risk being blown up. Landmines from the civil war still litter the Bosnian capital.
n Bosnia's injured Real Madrid forward Elvir Baljic will miss Saturday's game with a knee injury.
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Chelsea players allowed 20 minutes to celebrate, says Jose Mourinho after Capital One Cup victory
Liverpool vs Manchester City match report: Stunners from Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson sink Manuel Pellegrini's side
Diego Costa keeps coin thrown at him during Capital One Cup final
Arsenal 2 Everton 0 player ratings: Who scored highest at the Emirates?
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 3 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...