Hibernian manager Lee Johnson reckons Celtic not only lead the way in Scotland on the pitch - but just off it too.

Johnson pinpointed the Parkhead's side's clever use of ball-boys on a match-by-match basis.

"If you watch Celtic ball boys, they are fantastic," The Hibees boss told the Scottish Daily Express.

"They are drilled like Wimbledon ball boys! If they are 1-0 up with ten minutes to go, bang, two balls come on the pitch at once and it’s ‘oops, sorry’. Genius!

"But if they are behind or drawing, the ball is coming back rapid and the throws are incoming in five seconds.

“We had our ball boys in on Wednesday. They are all Under-14 but we had them around the pitch and it was fast-paced, trying to create the tempo of a derby. It was fire-in-the-belly, ice-in-the-head stuff. They were brilliant by the way.

“I used to be a ball boy for John Beck down south. He was a bit of a pioneer, long balls, playing towards the corners... he brought in luminous signs so they didn’t even have to look up!

“We were also trained properly. I would take my time and toe it or keep missing it, stuff like that, and the opposition keeper would give me a clout around the head.”

The Easter Road manager got his Premiership tenure off to a winning start last weekend against St Johnstone - a match in which he says better-trained ball-boys could have made a bigger difference.

“Over the 97 minutes against St Johnstone the ball was in play for just 41 minutes - how boring is that?" he said.

"So, what are we doing about it? We have to speed up the ball boys, referees have to manage the game to get the ball flowing.

“If you book a goalkeeper early for wasting time — and I would take this at my end as well, by the way — I guarantee you he’ll speed up his play. There’s the multi-ball system on the side too. But what kind of ball boys are you using? Are they 10-year-olds or 17? Are they coached or not?"