'Wow, Celtic Have Set A Trend...Mourinho will be next' - Exclusive: McLeish is blown away
Alex McLeish has lauded Celtic for their innovation after Armstrong Oko-Flex was spotted using wireless earphones on the touchline against Hibernian on Monday night.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Rangers and Scotland manager admitted he was very impressed – but not surprised – by the Hoops’ ingenuity to keep manager Neil Lennon involved during his period self-isolation.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the 1-1 draw, Gavin Strachan revealed the Northern Irish boss was giving the teenager some words of wisdom via the earphones before his senior debut for the Hoops.
— Daily Record Sport (@Record_Sport) January 11, 2021
Oko-Flex came on just after the hour mark to replace fellow debutant Cameron Harper in what was a much-depleted Celtic side.
Lennon, assistant manager John Kennedy and 13 first-team players were forced into self-isolation after Christopher Jullien’s positive Covid-19 test.
McLeish believes the Bhoys have made great use of technology to adapt to the situation and suggested other teams may follow suit in future.
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McLeish told Football Insider: “It’s certainly a new thing but when you look at modern-day trends and you see Big Sam Allardyce with headphones down to the guys in the dugout or one of his cohort is up there, with Sam in the dugout, saying: ‘Sam, I see something you don’t see,’ then it’s not really a surprise.
“It wasn’t really a surprise to me, there’s a young guy sitting with headphones on – you would certainly hope that he’s not listening to some music, that would be a real concern – but if it’s genuine and Neil Lennon’s on the other end to give him some words of comfort, then why not?
“Lennon’s not there and I think wow, Celtic have set a trend here, you’re probably going to see more of that. Jose Mourinho will be tuning into his players next. I guess even if they’re sat in the dugout, they can pass a message through. It could be a new trend.”
Fringe pair Stephen Welsh and Conor Hazard both started on Monday in the absence of some of the Bhoys big names, while the likes of Ewan Henderson and Karamoko Dembele featured off the bench.