Alistair Johnston joined CF Montreal at the end of December, but it looks like he’s just starting to find his place in the team.
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This is understandable, since the defender from British Columbia has divided his time between his club and the Canadian national team.
“It’s not easy to adapt and create chemistry with these absences. It was especially the one in January that was complicated. Missing two weeks in a five-week pre-season when everyone has to adapt is not easy. »
Fortunately for him, he finds similar elements in both teams.
“What’s good is that we play the same type of soccer with Canada and with CF Montreal. I also had the chance to find my rhythm by playing a lot of matches. »
Johnston and his CF Montreal team-mate Kamal Miller’s strong performances with the national team prompted coach John Herdman to say it was important that the two young defenders play in Europe as soon as possible. These comments did not go unnoticed, and we suspect that the staff of CF Montreal was not delighted.
“I understand John’s comments that he sees Kamal being able to handle Jonathan David, so he’s wondering why he’s not playing at a higher level,” Johnston said. When you have a team at the World Cup, you have to have players playing in the best leagues. »
One senses that Johnston was walking on eggshells in addressing the issue. He doesn’t want to offend his new club, but he also wants to toe the national team party line.
“As a manager, John wants his players to play at the highest level possible. When you see a guy like Jonathan David, you feel like you belong next to him. »
Johnston preferred to highlight the progression of MLS, which provides several players to the national teams of Canada and the United States.
“I think people don’t realize the quality of MLS. Personally, the important thing is to accumulate a lot of good minutes in a good environment. »
Change of direction
Speaking of the national team, Johnston was able to see the significant change in direction she has experienced in less than two years.
“Since I joined the program at the beginning of 2021, I have experienced games with few fans and it felt like playing preseason games. It’s day and night with what’s happening now. I make myself recognized, you see people everywhere wearing the colors of the national team. Supporters are no longer in the wardrobe. »
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