MALKY Mackay last night tipped Kieran Tierney to emulate Kenny Dalglish by winning over 100 caps for Scotland – and predicted he can captain his country for the next 10 years.

Mackay also believes Tierney can be a long-term solution to the national team’s centre half problem after playing him there against the Netherlands at Pittodrie on Thursday evening.

The SFA Performance Director, who took charge of his country for the friendly following the departure of Gordon Strachan, made the 20-year-old his captain in the absence of Scott Brown.

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He was impressed with how the Celtic left back handled the responsibility of the role and performed out of position in the middle of his four man defence against the Dutch.

Celtic and Liverpool legend Dalglish is the only player to have won over 100 caps for Scotland – but Mackay is convinced Tierney can make the same number of international appearances.

“For me, if he stays injury free and keeps to the progression that I have seen in the last couple of years then without a doubt he can win over 100 caps,” he said.

“He has got an attitude to die for. I think he just follows Scott Brown around at Parkhead. The attitude he has, the mentality, is the same. He just eats, sleeps and breathes football.

“He was Celtic’s left back against Bayern Munich. But I asked him to play out of position at left side centre back. He immediately said: ‘Of course!’

“I said to him: ‘How do you fancy captaining your country?’ You could see the smile ear to ear. Immediately he said: ‘Of course’.

“He carried that out on Thursday night as if it was an under-23 game in terms of his demeanour. I can see him going on and being Scotland’s captain for years.”

Mackay added: “I think he can be captain for Scotland for 10 years. I think he can captain his club eventually. But I think he could be Scotland captain for years.

“I saw it on Thursday night. He played left side centre back against top, top players and he was just so calm. He carried the ball out, defended well, will get better in terms of his talking.

“I had no doubts the minute Scott Brown got injured that that is who would be captain on Thursday night.”

Gordon Strachan, who stood down as Scotland manager last month after failing to secure a Russia 2018 play-off spot, played Tierney at right back in his final games in charge.

But Mackay, who played Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack there against the Netherlands, revealed that he doesn’t want to continue in that position.

“Kieran Tierney going there is not the answer,” he said. “He doesn’t want to be playing there, trust me.

“At his club he is obviously the left back and does so, so well for Celtic. With Scotland, we have got a terrific left back, a roving left back (Liverpool player Andy Robertson).

“Let’s just say our strength in depth at centre back is not what it should be. We have got somebody like him who embraced it so well when I asked him to do it – and even more when I asked him to be captain.

“We have a left sided centre back who is quick, aggressive, athletic and steps with the ball so comfortably. Why not?”