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He’s Celtic through and through

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When he casually mentions being mad with it and being a left midfielder at the age of seven you know it’s an interview that just can’t fail.

What more could you ask for than a few minutes with Kieran Tierney after Celtic had beaten Hibs to reach the final of the Betfred Cup back at Hampden next month?

Three years ago the teenager was scoring against Hearts from his own penalty box. Despite 95 first team appearances under his belt he’s exactly the same bhoy, perhaps even more down to earth at the successes and acclaim that he has enjoyed.

There’s a maturity and also an innocence about him. Without question he is heading for the very top level of football but whatever the game goes on to provide him with nothing will ever compare with being the Lanarkshire bhoy living the dream.

In his own words if he hadn’t been preparing to face Arjen Robben he’d have been in the sunshine of Munich having a party with his pals before getting the U-6 train along to the Allianz Arena.

At the age of 20 he has the aura of Tommy Burns about him. He’s loving it all but is so so grounded.

I ended the interview asking how aware he was that almost every social media poll, whatever the question, was being hijacked by Celtic fans voting for their favourite left-back.

Laughing at the question he admitted: “I saw that I got voted as the Premiership’s best striker or something like that! It’s tremendous, the support from the Celtic fans is unbelievable. I’d like to say a special thanks to them, since I came into the first team they’ve been brilliant with me.

“They gave me time to gel, there are no words to describe the Celtic fans, they are there every game singing away. They were there in numbers in Munich and we heard them over the home fans, they come in their thousands. Honestly if I wasn’t playing I’d be in the Munich square with them. They mean something special to me.”

Defeat at Hampden on Saturday would have a massive blow for Celtic. In seasons past the League Cup was something of a jinx but last season it provided the club with it’s 100th trophy and the first for Brendan Rodgers.

Time was at a premium between Munich and Hampden but from an early age Tierney has known that winning is the only acceptable option for a Celtic player- at any level.

“Even when I was 10,11 and 12 even at that age you needed to win,” he admitted. “It’s the winning mentality that they try to put into the Celtic youth teams if you do get the chance to break through, you know what’s needed. It’s a massive step up but at Celtic you try to prepare as best you can.

“When you’re chasing one of the best wingers in the game, playing for one of the top teams you’re going to be tired. We didn’t get home till early Thursday morning followed by a lunchtime kick off on Saturday is hard going but we’re not complaining.

“We want to play games, we want to win games and we’re now through to another final.

“We just recovered, we took a bit of abuse after Munich but had to prepare ourselves for another massive game, a semi-final that we have to win. That’s the pressure of Celtic, the boys thrive off it to be honest.

“I’ve watched the clip of my dad outside Hampden and have played in a few upsets here. I’ve won and lost so I know both feelings. You need to win a semi-final because there is no going back.”

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