I DON’T KIER ABOUT PAST

HAMPDEN PARK, 3PM Tier­ney knows the Hoops have to con­stantly push for­ward

Irish Sunday Mirror - - SPORT - BY CRAIG SWAN

SCOT­TISH LEAGUE CUP FI­NAL

But for just a cou­ple of hours today, he’ll choose to ig­nore it.

The Celtic de­fender and his team-mates head for Hampden look­ing to ex­tend an as­ton­ish­ing run of do­mes­tic suc­cess.

Bren­dan Rodgers’ troops can win a sev­enth-suc­ces­sive Scot­tish hon­our, equalling a land­mark set by Wal­ter Smith’s Rangers team of 1994, if they see off Aberdeen this af­ter­noon.

Tier­ney has savoured ev­ery sec­ond of the spell but is adamant it’ll get blanked from his mem­ory the mo­ment he ar­rives at Hampden. As a Celtic player, there’s no time for bask­ing in past glo­ries.

It’s about the next hon­our, the next suc­cess, and keep­ing the hunger and drive to set new bench­marks.

Tier­ney said: “It won’t be un­til we fin­ish play­ing that we’ll re­alise what this pe­riod has been like.

“But there is still an aw­ful lot for us to achieve here at Celtic.

“It would not be a good thing if I start think­ing about what we have done in the past cou­ple of years.

“I choose to look for­ward, not back. We have won six tro­phies in a row but that doesn’t mat­ter now. “Go­ing into this fi­nal no one cares about the pre­vi­ous six. It’s all about this one now. All about be­ing ready. “That’s how the play­ers have to think and it’s the same with the fans. “We want to win ev­ery­thing we pos­si­bly can and this is an­other great chance for us.” While stay­ing fo­cused and star­ing for­ward is im­por­tant, there is no doubt Celtic’s re­cent Hampden record is a huge fac­tor. Rodgers (in­set) has won on all eight of his vis­its to the sta­dium – with the Dons fall­ing vic­tim twice.

Tier­ney copped an el­bow in the face from Jay­den Stock­ley the last time he took on the Dons at Hampden but rel­ishes his trips across Glas­gow.

He said: “When you go to Hampden, you know that you are there for a big oc­ca­sion.

“It’s a game I’m look­ing for­ward to.

“Hav­ing my face smashed (in the 2017 Scot­tish Cup Fi­nal) would be low down on the list of best Hampden mo­ments yet the end of that day was some­thing spe­cial as we won the Tre­ble.

“I’d say that was my best mem­ory at the sta­dium. You feel that wher­ever you go, you must have the con­fi­dence to play and that is what the man­ager has built into us.

“He wants us to per­form any­where and Hampden is an­other big pitch.

“It suits the way we play and we’ve had great re­sults there in the past but we’ll take noth­ing for granted.

“It is go­ing to be tough against Aberdeen as they al­ways make it a hard game.

“We won 1-0 at Celtic Park last time we met and they beat us the time be­fore that – it shows it’s not go­ing to be easy.

“No one takes Aberdeen lightly.”

AN­OTHER SHOT AT GLORY Celtic star Kieran Tier­ney says Celtic play­ers need to have the men­tal­ity of fo­cus­ing on the present BATTLERS: Graeme Shin­nie & Scott Brown

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