KIERAN TIERNEY hopes to celebrate his first anniversary as a top-team Celt with a win over Alloa at Parkhead tonight and a place in the League Cup semi-final draw.

The Hoops left-back is just two days short of a year when he played against Raith Rovers in the competition last season and helped Ronny Deila’s men to a 2-0 win over their Championship opponents.

Tierney, 19, of course, went on to make the No.3 slot his own as he took over from experienced Honduran international Emilio Izaguirre.

He recalled: “A year ago, the expectations were not high. I was just a young boy coming into the team.

“Maybe I had a bit more freedom, but now everyone knows who I am and they expect me to play well. That’s harder, but it’s what every footballer has to deal with.

“I want to keep pushing myself. I was gutted after we dropped points in Inverness and I am even harder on myself after a loss. However, that’s good because you don’t want to make the same mistakes. I try to learn from mine.

“Even if you win 5-1, you would rather it was 5-0. If you keep lots of clean sheets that sends out a message. In training, if you are in the starting line-up you will be in the same team as the rest of defence. You have a full week to work on it, so we are working hard to build an understanding.

“It does take time if you have not played alongside each other, but, hopefully, it will gel soon and it will click for us.

“Going forward is good. If I can help provide assists and goals then that’s good. As a full-back, you are also judged on your assists.

“So, if I can chip in with them and the odd goal too that would be great. But my priority is defending first and foremost.

“You don’t want to concede goals. You want to keep clean sheets because even if you are not having a great day, you score one goal and you win the match.”
*Order your copy of That Season in Paradise – Ten Months of Celtic Heaven now from www.cqnbookstore.com

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