Alistair Johnston admits Celtic were baffled not to get a penalty at Ibrox – but is adamant VAR controversy will not become a distraction.

The Premiership champions asked the SFA for clarification on the handling of the new video technology after Monday’s 2-2 with Rangers. Controversy reigned in the aftermath amid video assistant Willie Collum’s not inviting on-pitch referee John Beaton to the pitchside monitor to view Connor Goldson potentially handling the ball.

The flashpoint was a hot topic at Lennoxtown the following day and Johnston, fresh from his debut, can’t understand why the Rangers defender’s arms were deemed to be in a natural position.

However, he insisted Celtic won’t let VAR define their bid for a second successive title.

“We live it, we feel it and see it,” Johnston said, speaking to promote the new 2022/23 SPFL Match Attax collection. “The one on Monday was one you go, ‘okay, I’m not really sure how two hands in front of your face is considered a natural hand position.’

“Obviously there’s been discussion about it. We would have loved it to have been called and we might think it should have been called.

“But there were other chances in the game where we could have scored, or we could have done better – like at both the goals, for example.

“I could have been tighter to prevent (Ryan) Kent cutting in, if you do that you don’t need to think about the potential penalty or VAR.

“There are so many other moments within a match. Of course we’d like VAR to be as consistent as possible.

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“At the same time we understand it’s something that’s out of our control. We can't rely on something that’s out of our control.”

Ange Postecoglou’s side were below par at Ibrox, but is there any chance such a healthy advantage could breed complacency?

“None,” Johnston said,  “If you are going to be complacent there are two other guys in the same position chomping at your ankles every day to get the chance to play.

“The manager and staff take huge pride in training. If guys are going to be half-assed they are not going to play at the weekend.

“Guys like like Callum McGregor could take it easy or coast, But he is one of the hardest trainers I’ve ever seen, he puts in tackles all over the place.

“You simply can’t have complacency – it can be so dangerous.”

Alistair Johnston helped launch the new 2022/23 SPFL Match Attax Collection, on sale now in Scottish retailers and via