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‘KT WILL CAPTAIN SCOTLAND,’ RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS is convinced Kieran Tierney is a future Scotland captain.

The 20-year-old left-back skippered his country in a friendly against Holland when caretaker boss Malky MacKay was put in charge for the 1-0 defeat against Holland at Pittodrie in November.

And Tierney has also worn the Hoops armband in the absence of Scott Brown who announced his retirement from the international squad yesterday.

Rodgers said: “Kieran’s an experienced young player now. I had a chat with him the other day and this is the next stage in his development.

“He has played over 100-games now for Celtic and with that you start to grow as a young man and take on that responsibility.

“He’s one who has those qualities because he’s very inspirational. He’s been in the shadow of Browny since he broke into the squad and he’s learned some terrific traits off him.

“Because of the type of personality he is, it wouldn’t be a concern, but, of course, there is a big responsibility in captaining Celtic and your national team.

“If it isn’t this time, then I’m sure at some point it will happen in the future.

“If you’re saying can he do it, then, yeah, he could. There’s no question about that.

“I think he’s a great ambassador for Scotland, as well, because of how he prepares himself, how he works every day and he’s a selfless kid, too.

“I know he would be very proud of that, but Alex McLeish will be looking at a few candidates.”

The Hoops boss added: “When I came in in that first week and, in particular, the first three or four days, I could see his enthusiasm for the game.

“That’s one thing that strikes you straight away, his natural enthusiasm for football.

“He’s a player you don’t realise how quick he is. He is the quickest player in our squad, we did measurements in Dubai over various distances and Kieran is the quickest.

“So, what I’ve seen is his enthusiasm, you see his physicality, he looks a strong boy, a robust boy now.

“He has said himself – and a few of the guys have also mentioned it – when he came in he struggled in games at times for fitness, but he works to a high intensity every day.

“Kieran’s got stronger, his game understanding has got better. He’s played in various positions and I like to do that, especially with young players to give them a different feel for different areas on the pitch.

“He has a best position, of course, at left-back, but he can play on the left-side of a back three and, like he’s shown with Scotland, he can play at right-back.

“So, he’s just one of those players who will be seven or eight out of 10 every game he plays.”

 
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