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Emilio Izaguirre is a great role model says Celtic teenager Kieran Tierney

By Ronnie Esplin

Published 27/10/2015

New star: Kieran Tierney has been impressing at Parkhead
New star: Kieran Tierney has been impressing at Parkhead

Celtic's talented teenager Kieran Tierney insists there is a long way to go before he hits the heights of left-back rival Emilio Izaguirre.

The 18-year-old made his fourth start of the season against Dundee United at Parkhead on Sunday, at the expense of the Honduras international, and was voted man of the match in the convincing 5-0 Scottish Premiership win.

Manager Ronny Deila was fulsome in his praise of the former Hoops academy player afterwards, predicting that the "brave and mentally strong" defender has a "big future" at the club.

Along with the rest of the Hoops defence, 29-year-old Izaguirre has come in for some criticism this season, mostly in European games, and most recently after last Thursday's 3-1 Europa League defeat by Molde in Norway which left the Scottish champions bottom of Group A

However, speaking at Celtic Park where, along with defender Jozo Simunovic, he was helping Celtic FC Foundation, the charitable arm of the football club, launch its 2015 Christmas Appeal, Tierney said: "Emilio is a great player. He has played in the Champions League and World Cup so I still have a long way to go.

"He has great experience and he has been great with me. I still look up to him and I talk to him at training and he gives me tips.

"It was my fourth start of the season. I still have a long way to go.

"I need to keep on working on all my weaknesses.

"I have had meetings with John Collins (assistant) and John Kennedy (coach) which have been great.

"They tell you the positives and also the negatives you need to work on and I do that after training.

"But I have been absolutely delighted with the faith the manager has put in me.

"He threw me into some big games at such a young age which has been absolutely great."

While paying tribute to Izaguirre, Tierney revealed former Real Madrid and Brazil full-back Roberto Carlos in particular has also had an influence in his style of play.

He said: "There are full-backs I model myself on and you can take a part from the top players in the big leagues. I looked at Roberto Carlos when I was younger so I try to play the same game as he did, which is obviously attacking.

"He wasn't afraid to shoot and he was a good defender as well.

"Attacking is a very big part of my armoury, especially the way the manager wants to play.

"But I need to do it for 90 minutes. As you saw yesterday I was kind of tired at the end so I need to get that out of my game and try to last 90 minutes easily."

Belfast Telegraph

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