What Celtic do that will have massive influence on Hibs' starting XI
Johnson takes his team to the east end of Glasgow to face Ange Postecoglou’s defending champions, who have yet to lose a domestic match at home under the stewardship of the Australian.
Under Postecoglou, Celtic play intense, high pressing game and are assisted by their ballboys, who make sure the tempo can be kept high by using a multiball system to get possession back to them quickly.
Johnson is acutely aware of what the conditions will be like at Celtic Park and will select players who have the best attributes to deal best with the situation.
“Celtic’s ball boys are world class,” said Johnson. “It’s making me question my team selection, that five seconds in transition.
“I bet people have never heard this before, but those ballboys are making me question what team I pick.
“We have a saying ‘the ball goes dead, we come alive’ – we need players who are alive when the ball is dead.
“It’s reactions to transition and trust, trust that you won’t switch off. You have to concentrate for 96 minutes, it’s as simple as that.
“As a player myself, I would always try to capitalise on a dead ball, get to it quickly and try to get eye contact with the striker when the defence was organising. It’s about that speed of play, the relentless tempo – in the end that’s what catches people out.
“I remember Alex Ferguson saying to my dad once that when he had David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole up front they averaged 97 sprints each per game. That was phenomenal and was because of the tempo they played at. What happened was the opposition couldn’t concentrate long enough and that’s why so many goals were scored in Fergie time. It just ground teams down.
“In modern football, with modern-day players the attention span isn’t the same – it’s all Instagram and 15-minute meetings because nobody can concentrate for longer than that. I think I could concentrate for three hours no bother on something I’m interested in, but that’s an age thing.”