PERHAPS at some point this summer Kieran Tierney will have time to take stock and consider the enormity of what he is achieving.

But don’t bet on it. As he packed up his gumshield and left Hampden on Saturday night, after effortlessly accepting the challenge of converting to an unfamiliar role on the left side of Scotland’s back three and largely nullifying the emerging talent of Marcus Rashford, this unassuming 20-year-old was looking ahead to just ten days off before he reports back for the start of his pre-season under Brendan Rodgers at Celtic.

And even they aren’t really days off, considering he is armed with his own bespoke pre-pre-season fitness plan from the club’s sports scientists and will be putting work in during his own time to make sure he doesn’t lose too much in the way of conditioning.

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“I’ll be in along with the rest of the team for the start of training,” said Tierney. “I might get an extra day or two but no more. That’s the mindset you need as a footballer. If you want to be at the top of your profession then you don’t get much rest.

“I had four days away [after the end of the season] and I now have 10 days off where I can recharge the batteries,” he added. “During that time I’ll still be working to make sure I’m sharp for pre-season. The sports scientist at Celtic has devised a programme which is unique for each individual. There’s not to much in it as you won’t lose much fitness in 10 days and you still need to recover and rest after a long season, but I’ll still work hard.”

The Parkhead side will know their Champions League qualifying round opponent by this time next week, with their first pre-season friendlies of their German/Austrian tour scheduled against BW Linz in Rohrbach on June 28 and Rapid Vienna in Amstetten the following Saturday. Their first qualifying tie comes on July 11/12 but rather than complaining about the tight timescales involved, Tierney reckons Celtic can carry confidence from one campaign to another.

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“We’ve got a short, short break but the confidence will be high as soon as we’re back in pre-season training and heading into friendlies and Champions League qualifiers,” he said. “We all know what it’s like now with six games to reach the Champions League. That’s the way it is in Scotland and we have to knuckle down and get on with it.”

It was understandable if the 20-year-old was still struggling to come to terms with it all somewhat after Saturday’s most dramatic of conclusions. He appeared non-plussed about being forced to adapt to another new position, and made light of his status as a pre-match injury doubt, just weeks after sustaining a nasty facial injury courtesy of the swinging arms of Aberdeen’s Jayden Stockley in the Scottish Cup final. It might all have been matter of fact to this 20-year-old, born in the Isle of Man yet resident in Scotland since he was a young man, but less so for the watching UK media. With SkySports pundits such as Graeme Souness and Jamie Redknapp correctly purring over his performance, any clubs who weren’t previously aware of his potential surely are now.

“Centre-back is a new challenge just as right-back was the last time but I don’t mind it,” said Tierney. “The manager asked me to play there and I’ll play anywhere. I’ll give my all and hopefully I will do well.

“In my mind there was no doubt I’d make it but obviously it’s out of my hands,” he added. “It’s down to doctors and physios to decide if I’m ok to play and it’s no longer dangerous. I just gave my all. I didn’t need to persuade the doctors to play. They are dead professional and if I wasn’t able to play then that would be the end of it. I knew I’d be fine with a gumshield in.”

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While a win on Saturday would have been transformational to Scotland’s hopes of reaching their first major finals since 1998, condeding that last gasp equaliser means that four wins from our remaining four games may not even be enough to clinch a play-off place. Tierney eulogised his club mate Griffiths for the technique and temperament to execute two free-kicks with the game on the line and said the onus was on Scotland to keep getting the wins which would fulfil their side of the bargain.

“It [Saturday] was just a rollercoaster - Griff’s two amazing free-kicks were incredible,” said Tierney. “He’s just goal, goals, goals. He’ll always score and to do that in a pressurised situation not once but twice against Joe Hart is unbelieveable and I’m so happy for him. To do that against a top-class keeper means he’s due a lot of credit. Then the goal at the end is a sucker punch and it feels like a defeat because of when it came.

“If the second one goes in and it stays at 2-1 than it’s the fairytale, isn’t it? We’re all shattered right now because he probably thought that he’d won Scotland the game but everyone has put 100% in from staff to players and we were unlucky not to get the victory. For us we need to kick on in the remaining games and get the results we need.”