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Ascending Tierney revels in Celtic milestone


Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic’s Kieran Tierney says he’s enjoyed a crazy couple of years at the Glasgow giants as he stands on the verge of making a century of appearances for the Scottish champions.

Since making his debut for the Hoops back in April 2015 the defender has firmly established himself as a first-team regular and has enjoyed a trophy-laden start to his Celtic career.

It has been a remarkable rise for the 20-year-old, who this week picked up his first ever Scottish Premiership Player of the Month award just days after he captained Scotland for the first time in their friendly with the Netherlands.

Tierney is now in line to make his 100th appearance for Celtic when the Parkhead club travel to take on Ross County on Saturday and says that he can’t get enough of playing for his boyhood heroes.

“I don’t think I could have imagined I’d be where I am now,” the left-back, who recently signed a new six-year contract, said.

“It’s totally crazy. I couldn’t have believed I’d be playing with my boyhood club then. And to play 100 games with Celtic is just amazing.

“I want to be playing as much as I can. I know what it’s like to be injured for a few months and it’s a horrible feeling. 

“When all these games are coming thick and fast it’s hard, but you want to be playing in every one of them. That’s what every player wants and at Celtic that’s what you have to do.

“I need to keep working hard, though, just as I always have. I’m focused going into training every day, focused on trying to impress and then play well at the weekend.”

– Rangers’ hot-seat vacancy –

Tierney and his team-mates have been used to setting records since manager Brendan Rodgers arrived last summer, with the Hoops setting a new British record of 63 games unbeaten in domestic competitions on their last appearance before the international break.

If Celtic are to keep that remarkable run going then they will have to overcome a Ross County side that has lost just once in six games since Owen Coyle was appointed manager at the end of September.

However, the Hoops have almost a full squad to pick from with Scott Brown, Leigh Griffiths, Stuart Armstrong, Jozo Simunovic, Patrick Roberts and Erik Sviatchenko all back in training.

“It’ll be another tough game for us,” Tierney admitted. 

“They always make it tough for you up there. We’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can go there and play well. We’re confident and we’ll be looking to keep going. We’ve come back fresh and have been training well so we’re ready to go.”

Despite a two-week lay-off for the international fixtures, rivals Rangers seem no closer to appointing a new manager following last month’s sacking of Pedro Caixinha.

Interim manager Graeme Murty will continue in his role as the Gers welcome Hamilton to Ibrox on Saturday. The former Scotland international is looking for his third successive win since Caixinha’s departure – a feat the Portuguese manager was unable to achieve in seven months at the Glasgow club.

Fixtures (1500 GMT unless otherwise stated):

Saturday

Ross County v Celtic (1230 GMT), Aberdeen v Motherwell, Dundee v Kilmarnock, Hibernian v St Johnstone, Rangers v Hamilton

Sunday

Hearts v Partick Thistle

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