The Kieran Tierney interview, Belgians at Lennoxtown

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BELGIUM prepared for their game against Iceland by training at Celtic’s training complex at Lennoxtown. Dedryck Boyata would have been right at home obviously and would have welcomed his international teammates who defeated Scotland 4-0 on Friday evening.

Meanwhile Kieran Tierney has been speaking about playing alongside Scotland skipper Andy Robertson in the national side.

“I don’t think you can let where you play affect you.

“I’m sure if Andy was asked to play another position he would also do it with a smile on his face.

“You’re a professional, you get paid to play football. It doesn’t matter what position you’re in — if you’re on the park you’re happy.

“Playing on the left is the back post shift — play between the two!

“You get up to attack the back post and sprint back to defend your own back post — it’s a graveyard shift!

“The game has changed. In different formations, maybe in a back four, you can be a bit more defensive. But playing in a five, you can go yourself.

“Andy is brilliant at that, he’s been doing it great for Liverpool.

“It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. I’m just happy playing.

“I played left midfield when I was at boys’ club level but as soon as I got to Celtic they moved me to left back and I’ve been there ever since.

“Whether I play centre back, right back, or left back, they’re all different. You just need to adapt — it’s no bad thing to be able to play a variety of positions.

“I played on the right under Gordon Strachan a few times and I was happy to do it.

“For me it’s all about whatever gives the team the best chance to qualify. Getting forward is a massive part of my game so of course I’m going to miss that if I’m at the back.

“At left-back you have the freedom to go up and down all day — especially if you’re a wing back.

“But I’m a defender, that’s my first job. And, at centre back, you’re defending a lot more.

“When I do play there I’ve had to slam on the anchors a few times, with Celtic as well as Scotland!

“I got moved into the defence for Celtic, bombed forward, then thought ‘Hang on, that’s not my job, I need to tuck in and protect’.

“It’s about learning. I’m still very young. And I like that the manager trusts me to go in to centre-back and play my game.

“I don’t know if he’s changed the formation just to get me into the team, but I’m grateful.

“When you’re training every day, you pick up new things. You’re watching the centre- backs and what they do, so it’s been educational.

“The bottom line is that I do my best. Even if I’m on the bench, I’m going to be giving 100 per cent in training every day and hope for the best for the country. Because what’s best for Scotland is what matters.”

Tierney is delighted that Robertson is the new Scotland skipper and he says he never thought that he’d be asked to take over from Scott Brown to lead his country on a permanent basis.

“I never thought I would get it. It was a very proud day for me to be captain against Holland when Malky Mackay gave me that honour.

“It was one of the greatest nights of my life. I’ve captained Celtic and Scotland and I have a lot to thank Malky and Brendan Rodgers for.

“But, regarding Scotland, I wasn’t disappointed in any way. Andy deserved to be captain and I’m delighted for him.”

KT revealed that Andy Robertson immediately set up a group chat among the Scotland boys.

“You don’t want to know what we chat about! But it’s important to have a group chat and have banter. If someone needs help then everyone’s there for him.

“It’s good to get to know everyone as a whole and it’s a good way of bonding.

“One of the coaches put a link into it about how the Nations League qualification actually works. It didn’t do anyone any harm to read over it because it’s not the easiest to understand.

“But we just think one game at a time — concentrate on winning the next game rather than thinking about how the competition works.

“We know these are four massive qualifying games for Scotland, and each of them is as important as any other.

“Starting at home, we need to get the fans cheering on Monday. The fact we’re all ranked close together means the games should be pretty tight and it’s important to start well.”


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