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Celtic coach explains why Ireland under-19 midfielder was wearing AirPods moments before debut

A heavily depleted Celtic side drew 1-1 with Hibs at Celtic Park.

Celtic failed to bounce back from their recent Old Firm defeat to Rangers as they drew 1-1 at home with Hibernian on Monday night.

Celtic, who were missing 13 first-team players and manager Neil Lennon after a positive Covid-19 test within their squad, took the lead through David Turnbull’s free-kick nine minutes from time.

Oko-Flex

However, the Hoops were unable to hold on for all three points as Kevin Nisbet levelled for Hibs in the 90th-minute.

The result leaves Celtic 21 points adrift of Rangers with three games in hand.

The build-up to the match was dominated by Celtic’s controversial winter training camp in Dubai, which was questioned by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Celtic were then forced to leave out 13 players after Christopher Jullien returned a positive coronavirus test on Monday morning.

Considered close contacts of the French defender, Lennon and assistant manager John Kennedy were forced to miss the game, leaving Gavin Strachan – son of Gordon – to take charge.

Celtic’s makeshift team included American debutant Cameron Harper, who was replaced by Republic of Ireland under-19 international Armstrong Oko-Flex on the hour-mark.

However, Celtic fans were left bemused by the sight of the midfielder wearing AirPods immediately prior to coming on for his debut.

After the game, Strachan told Sky Sports that Lennon had been communicating with the youngster through the earphones.

“We were just getting some messages to him before he came on the pitch,” said Strachan.

“Everyone uses every bit of technology available to them and that is what we had available and we used it.

“It is good for a young player to hear the manager’s voice as well when he goes on the pitch.”

Speaking about the winter training camp, Strachan insisted that Celtic have no regrets over visiting Dubai.

“There’s regret that one person has caught the virus but there’s not a regret in terms of the permission we got to go and the protocols that we followed, which we have done the whole season,” he said.

“It’s regrettable that we got one positive, which we could have got at any time.

“It’s a trip that’s been done over the last few years and it has yielded very positive results, so the thinking behind it was to maintain that and try to galvanise and push in the second half of the season.”

Celtic host Livingston on Saturday as they aim to get back to winning ways and narrow the gap on Rangers at the top.

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