Belfast Telegraph

Opening match key for Scotland, admits Tierney

By Ronnie Esplin

Kieran Tierney insists the Scotland players are well aware of the importance of tonight's UEFA Nations League opener against Albania at Hampden Park.

Alex McLeish's side lost 4-0 in their friendly against World Cup semi-finalists Belgium at the national stadium on Friday night, which was their biggest home loss in 45 years.

The fixture acted as a warm-up for their first game in the newly-formed UEFA tournament, which offers an increased chance of reaching the 2020 European Championship.

With Scotland in a three-team group along with Israel - beaten 1-0 by the Albanians on Friday night -there is little room for error.

"We are all professional footballers, we know how important it is, we don't really need anyone to tell us," said Tierney.

"It is a home game as well and we want to give the fans something to cheer about, which we didn't do on Friday.

"It wasn't good enough and we have to make it right.

"This (competition) gives us more of a chance which is great.

"Every game is going to be important and we will be looking for a great start."

The Celtic left-back was moved into a back three by McLeish, with new captain Andy Robertson deployed in his usual role. But Tierney was diplomatic when asked what position he would choose.

"Everyone knows what position I am," explained the 21-year-old.

"It is up to the manager where he plays me but everybody knows what position I play.

"The manager trusts me in another position which is good.

"I have played there a few times there for Celtic so I am familiar to a certain extent and I am enjoying learning a new position as well."

Belfast Telegraph


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