Aston Villa defender Matt Lowton has revealed that Neil Warnock taught him ball boy tactics when he was a youngster.

Lowton was in the Sheffield United academy when Warnock schooled him and his team mates about how to help the team by delaying the ball returning to the pitch.

In the wake of Eden Hazard’s ball boy incident on Wednesday night, Lowton has claimed that it is common for clubs to teach their academy players to hold onto the ball at certain points of a game to gain an advantage.

The impressive Villa right back has since left Bramall Lane and become a first team regular at Villa Park but even as a Premier League star, he can see the benefits of gamesmanship in such high profile games.

The 23 year old has admitted that Warnock told them they had a big role to play in the game despite only being ball boy’s and that on one occasion he tried to keep the ball away from a Liverpool player.

“He taught tactics for ball boys. He reckoned we had an important role to play when big clubs came to Bramall Lane,” Lowton told The Sun.

“He taught us when to get the ball back quickly – and when not to!”

“United were a goal up in one Premier League game after Rob Hulse scored but Gerrard won a controversial penalty for Liverpool when he went down in the box.

“There was a huge fuss afterwards over whether he dived and I did everything I could to delay giving Liverpool the ball back for the penalty.”

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