NO player since the King of Kings himself has been worshipped in the way that the home grown, one of our own Celtic star Kieran Tierney has. The bond he has with the Celtic support is pretty unique, remarkable even and when you think back to those stories that were being pushed that Everton were going to bid £25million and he was away, those who were spreading this stuff should have reflected on their own judgment as KT once again headed behind the goals towards the Green Brigade to pick up the megaphone.
In fact the one of our own bond, so special and frankly rather unique is putting Tierney in the same bracket as the likes of Paul McStay and Tommy Burns. For both of them Celtic was more than enough and they never got anywhere near the kind of money that Kieran earns these days.
Every single penny is deserved and money well spent. He could make more elsewhere, as for instance Stuart Armstrong has done, but is that really what we would want to do.
Watching him on Sunday afternoon you got the impression that there’s nowhere else where he could get that.
Kieran himself reflected on the events of Sunday afternoon himself yesterday during his press interviews
“Some people say we should be always winning because of the players we have, but you need to be driven and have the desire to keep going when things aren’t simple or you are being asked serious questions.
“The biggest part of what happened at Hampden was the hunger of the boys,” KT said.
“We need to be on it every single week and we are playing 60 games a season where we are, basically, expected to win 60 games a season. That is a crazy situation, but that is what gives us the hunger.
“We know the expectation is there and we don’t want to let anyone down, especially not anyone in our own changing room or the fans. We gave the fans a great night in Norway and another one at Hampden and that’s our thank you for the way they’ve supported us.
“Sunday was a great day for us, but we knew we were going to be leggy in the game. We’d just come off a really tough 90 minutes in Trondheim and that was also a big-pressure game which takes a lot out of you.
“We were back for a Cup Final two days after we got back from Norway and it was a crazy schedule. It’s hard to play to your best after having a big European game and Aberdeen were going into the game with a full week of rest.
“They were fresh with training, rest and recovery and we knew what we’d be up against, but the heart and the passion we showed was brilliant and you need that to get you through sometimes. To deal with that and get a clean sheet and a victory made it special.”
Tierney admitted that the Celtic players were well aware of the result at Tynecastle in the early kick-off on Sunday that saw the Rangers go to the top of the league – Celtic’s game in hand is against Motherwell at Celtic Park in a fortnight – i.e. Celtic play that night and Rangers don’t. Before that Celtic travel to Fir Park to play Motherwell on their own patch tonight and it will be tough, Tierney expects.
“There was nothing we could do with dropping to second in the league. It was a cup weekend and we had to miss our game so we could win that trophy.
“That was the most important thing on Sunday and now the focus turns to Fir Park. That’s a tough game because Motherwell always make it like that. Motherwell will now be thinking the same way as I’m sure Aberdeen would have been thinking in terms of, “Right, Celtic have just come off a hard game, let’s try and make it tough for them.”
“To be honest, that’s probably the way every team is going to be thinking these days,” KT noted.
Looking back to Hampden, he realises that the manager’s decision not to sanction the usual post match Cup winning party was probably correct, especially given the fixture list that remains in December, which has the makings of the most crucial month of the entire season.
“You don’t get too much time to celebrate. In the changing room after the game at Hampden, it was brilliant. The scenes were amazing and will live with me forever.
“But when you go home on the Sunday, you can’t even eat unhealthily. I wish it could have been a Chinese meal! But you have to keep doing the right things because there’s another game coming right away and that’s what you have to do to try and be successful.
“Myself and the family have a small celebration, spend time together and that is what’s important. My family and friends keep me going and spur me on. These are the great times, but even when we’ve had tough times they are there for me. We’re in it together.
“It’s just crazy what we have achieved. I don’t think you can say too much about it right now. It’ll be later when you appreciate what you’ve done. When times start to get tougher, that might be a time when you really start to understand it.
“That’s the thing, though. Everyone inside the changing room really does appreciate it in some way and the fans know that as well. That’s why they support us through thick and thin and days like Hampden are why you work so hard.”