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Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley felt years of extra-curricular work come to fruition when he powered home a shot with his naturally weaker right foot against St Johnstone.

The 23-year-old hit an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net from 22 yards to put Celtic in front in Perth with 12 minutes remaining on Sunday.

O’Riley said: “I surprised myself a bit after I hit it. I just swung my right foot.

“My first thought after it went in was actually, it sounds weird, how stable I felt in my body. I think that’s a result of all the pilates I have been doing, outside of the club as well.

Matt O’Riley scores
Matt O’Riley scores against St Johnstone (Jane Barlow/PA)

“It’s nice to see these things coming together. I just felt really stable over the ball and recently in training I have practised a bit with my right foot and I was feeling more stable and more effective.

“If I can add that to my game I think that’s going to be very helpful.

“I started (pilates) ages ago when I was younger at Fulham because I had a few back problems when I was younger.

“Recently I have tried to get back into it, the last 10 months or so. I find it really beneficial. I do it outside the club and in here as well. It helps with injury prevention, general stability on the pitch, if you are trying to protect the ball, feeling more stable, more balanced, more robust.

“I have had to do it from a young age because I think it’s important if you want to have a long career.”

O’Riley has been keen to find any advantage he can for his career since his early teenage years.

“Small percentages build up over a period of time,” the Denmark international said.

“I enjoy all the stuff I do in terms of the recovery side. I live and breathe football to be honest so for me it’s not like a chore. It’s something I enjoy doing and will continue to do.

“I was pretty obsessive, probably more obsessive back then. Too obsessive, when I was 15/16, to the point where I was super strict with myself.

“I have come away from that a little bit just so I can have a bit more peace of mind as well. I feel like I am in a good place at the moment. I am learning things as I go as well, I am going to have to keep trying things and failing things. Some things will work, some things won’t.

“It’s an ongoing process to find out what works for me in terms of balancing football life and wellbeing. At the moment it’s probably the best I have been on that side of things.”

Such commitment to self-improvement could come to the fore in a busy period. Celtic host Hibernian in the cinch Premiership on Wednesday in their second of nine matches inside a month.

O’Riley said: “It’s more games so it’s more fun to be had. It’s definitely a tough period because it’s colder, the pitches probably aren’t as good.

“That’s where the mentality side really comes into it. It’s about being relentless every game, your approach has to be 100 per cent in every game. If we approach games in the right manner I think we will be more than okay.”