Kieran Tierney: This is how I have hit ground running for Celtic this season
By James Black
Kieran Tierney believes Celtic’s early start in the Champions League qualifying rounds was a big reason why he has hit the ground running and enjoyed such a strong start to the season.
Tierney was involved in six Champions League qualifiers and he thinks that the weight of expectation and the tension arising from such important games for the Hoops helped him hit top form early in the campaign.
Celtic face Dundee on Saturday in the Scottish Premiership before travelling to Germany to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League and Tierney reckons his performances have been down to that early start.
“It definitely helped me massively,” Tierney said, as quoted by the Evening Times website.
“Those six qualifiers to get into the Champions League I think were actually really important for me personally.
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“They were high pressure games that we were involved in right away and you had to be in the right place mentally as well as physically.
“Definitely from my own point of view they helped me get to a level quite quickly of being in a place where you know every game is must-win and it is an attitude that I brought into Scotland.
“I think the way we have played and the manner in which we have kept the recent run going deserves a lot of credit because everyone has given their all.
“At Celtic we are playing must win, high pressure games a lot and it definitely makes a difference.”
The Parkhead mainstay has forced his way into becoming a regular for club and country – although he often plays in an unfamiliar right-back role in Gordon Strachan’s Scotland side.
Tierney’s willingness to get forward in support of the more attack-minded players has become a trademark of his game and his link-up play with Scott Sinclair down the left flank for Celtic has been a big factor in the Hoops’ success.
Tierney has reportedly been attracting interest from clubs in England in recent months although the Isle of Man-born star is unlikely to want to leave his boyhood heroes while they challenge for trophies and compete in the Champions League regularly.
The 20-year-old has also found himself shifted around positionally in Brendan Rodgers’ side recently as the Hoops’ manager tinkers with his formation and Tierney hasn’t looked out of place regardless of if he’s been at left-back, wing-back or in central defence.
In other Celtic news, the Hoops deployed their scouts to this crucial international fixture.