Kieran Tierney is a player in hot form for club and country, and he believes that the Champions League qualifiers helped him to hit the ground running this season, as per a report in the Evening Times.
Celtic supporters tend to complain about having to play qualifiers, because they are such a high-profile club. although it is good to dissect the positives from things, and Tierney’s class is one of them.
Since replacing Emilio Izaguirre as the first choice left-back at Parkhead, the 20-year-old has been driven to keep his role and develop further. He has succeeded and caught the eye of Scotland manager, Gordon Strachan, as well as top clubs like Manchester United who are apparently keen to take him in the near future.
How the Scotland international manages to consistently play at such a high level has been a mystery, however, he revealed one of the reasons.
It definitely helped me massively, those six qualifiers to get into the Champions League I think were actually really important for me personally. 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. To me that is a great benefit to Scotland that there are so many of us playing at that level.
Tierney clearly feels the benefits of the Champions League qualifiers, and all he wants to do is constantly play football. That is a normal want for a youngster, although he is a special breed that brings passion, energy and his love for the team to his play.
The defender and his Hoops teammates have brought the must-win attitude into the Scotland camp. The Celtic contingent of the Scotland squad are one of the main reasons for their impressive displays of late, although it was not enough to book their place in Russia next summer.
That will only be of benefit to Celtic, as it means that they will have a full squad going into early rounds of the Champions League qualifiers, which gives them the greatest chance of reaching the group stages of the competition again.