Lewis Stevenson spoke to the media ahead of the trip to face Celtic. Here's everything the Hibs defender had to say.

You say Rory Whittaker is miles ahead of where you were at that age, but weren't you getting man of the match in cup finals as a kid?

"I was 19 when I played in a cup final so he still has two years left to do that! It's a lot more mental rather than technical as there are a lot of young boys nowadays who are coming through with a lot of technical ability. A lot of it is in the mind and having the confidence to go out there and perform at Easter Road.

Did you doubt yourself or did you go in there as a kid believing?

"I was always a bit of a doubter because I've always been a bit pessimistic. You need people to believe in you and the gaffer does that alongside Dave, they show a lot of confidence in the young players. They trust them and even in the game on Sunday when we were under the cosh a bit, he still put Rudi on so it shows he's willing to put the young boys in. The ones who have come in have done remarkably well and that is good for the rest of the young boys who aren't playing as they can see that there is a pathway through into the first team. It gives them that confidence and belief that they can get a chance too.

Do you want them to have that confidence, or even cockiness?

"You need self-belief but you also can't afford to get too carried away. You still want them to show their own personality as you don't want them to be robots. It's a different world now with social media and that wasn't there when I was coming through.

Do you see part of your role as helping these young guys get better?

"I'm always here if anyone wants to ask questions and give little bits of advice. That could be about players I have played against as I know what they like to do. You don't want to fill their heads with too much as they need to focus on the game and learn things for themselves. The maturity and confidence they have already is remarkable. They physically need to grow a bit but that will come in due time.

The weekend before last, only two Scots under 21 started in the Premiership - although Hibs are bucking the trend, that's a depressing statistic, isn't it?

"It is, and it shows Scottish football is all about results. Maybe when you get to the end of the season and some teams have less things to play for then they can start bleeding in the young boys. Because the league is quite small and then there is the split, everyone is playing for something. There is not that luxury of throwing young players in as there is a fear.

READ MORE: How Hibs can challenge Celtic: Set-plays and competitiveness

"To be fair to our gaffer, he has shown a lot of confidence in the youngsters even during a really tight period in the season. Every point is massive yet he's still willing to put the young boys in. It's frustrating that clubs would rather play a boy from England or someone foreign at that age rather than trusting the young players who are already there. It's not a good stat but maybe we could look at restructuring as a bigger league would give clubs more of a chance to blood youngsters as every point may not be as important as it is now.

Restructuring has been talked about for years, but it's difficult with TV deals and the Old Firm...

"This is maybe all a bit over my head! That time during Covid was maybe a good time to restructure the league but it's tough as it's a business at the end of the day.
"Why would a team want to have less games? That is the state of Scottish football for young boys coming through it has been tough.

What does it say about the manager here that he's willing to buck that trend and play young players?

It takes balls from the manager to put them in there. We have a tight squad this season and it probably helps the board that the manager has shown that he will play these young boys and they have done well.

It's been 13 years since Hibs won at Celtic Park, at the time you couldn't have thought it would end up being that long?

"We have been close a few times and there have been some really good performances. When Neil Lennon was in charge we went there twice and were probably the better side but it shows just how hard it is. It's still a game that we all look forward to and we have real belief but we need to buck the trend. No matter how we win, we need to find a way to do that.