Tier­ney only in­ter­ested in new glo­ries, not old ones

The Herald on Sunday - - BETFRED CUP FINAL - BY GRAEME McGARRY

CELTIC fans sing proudly about know­ing their his­tory, but Kieran Tier­ney isn’t one for liv­ing in the past. At just 21, the full-back and life­long Celtic sup­porter has a medal col­lec­tion that he could have only dreamed about as a kid. Re­flect­ing on that haul, though, will have to wait.

One day, when he sits down and prop­erly as­sesses what he achieved in his ca­reer, of course these medals will all mean some­thing. But for to­day, as he goes in search of an­other, they mean noth­ing. Only the one he could be hoist­ing around his neck this af­ter­noon has any rel­e­vance.

“It won’t be un­til we fin­ish play­ing that we’ll re­alise what this pe­riod has been like,” said Tier­ney. “But there is still an aw­ful lot for us to achieve. If I start think­ing about what we have done in the past cou­ple of years, that will not be a good thing. I just look for­ward and not look back.

“We have won six tro­phies in a row in the past cou­ple of sea­sons, but that doesn’t mat­ter now. Go­ing into the fi­nal, no-one cares about the pre­vi­ous six. It’s all about this one. 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 Sun­day of­fers us a great chance.”

The re­lent­less churn of big matches for Celtic means the play­ers can­not af­ford to adopt any other mind-set. They only ar­rived back in Glas­gow on Fri­day af­ter­noon af­ter keep­ing their Eu­ropa League qual­i­fi­ca­tion hopes alive with a fine win over Rosen­borg in Nor­way, a per­for­mance that, far from tir­ing out the Celtic play­ers, has en­er­gised them ac­cord­ing to Tier­ney.

“This is an­other mas­sive game for us and it’s crazy in a way how there was a mas­sive game on Thurs­day and an­other one now,” he said. “You just need to deal with it and it’s a huge oc­ca­sion to look for­ward to. There hasn’t been a lot of time to re­cover, but we’ll do our best.

“We’ve had a few bad nights in the Eu­ropa League and we got a bit of stick for them, but the way we have bounced back with two wins in a row just shows the char­ac­ter we have to have won the games.

“We stayed in Nor­way on Thurs­day night and that meant we weren’t go­ing into train­ing on Fri­day hav­ing had half a sleep, so it’s re­ally pro­fes­sional and it needs to be to per­form at a high stan­dard.

“When you go to Ham­p­den, you know that you are there for a big oc­ca­sion. It’s a game which I’m look­ing for­ward to and the fans will be, too. You feel that, when­ever you go, you must have the con­fi­dence to play and that is what the man­ager has built into us. He wants us to go and per­form any­where and Ham­p­den is an­other big pitch for us. It suits the way we play and we’ve had great re­sults there in the past, but we take noth­ing for granted.

“We know that it’s go­ing to be a tough, tough game against Aberdeen be­cause they make it hard for you. The last game was 1-0 for us at Celtic Park and they beat us the time be­fore that, so that tells you it’s not go­ing to be easy. No-one takes Aberdeen lightly. It’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult.”

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