KIERAN Tierney last night claimed that Celtic captain Scott Brown could have suffered a serious injury after a shocking foul by Aberdeen substitute Sam Cosgrove late on at Pittodrie yesterday.

And the left back, who netted his side’s second goal in their important Ladbrokes Premiership victory, praised his skipper’s fighting spirit and revealed that he was privileged to play alongside him.

Cosgrove received a straight red card from referee Bobby Madden with five minutes of regulation time remaining for a rash challenge on Brown shortly after his side had fallen two goals behind.

Tierney was appalled by an incident he is convinced could well have resulted in his team mate spending an extended spell on the sidelines.

Asked if the midfielder could have been harmed more badly, he said: “Aye, probably. It was a high challenge. Broonie’s foot wasn’t planted, but if it was then you never know.

“He got up and celebrated and that is just the sort of character he is. He is brilliant and a true, true leader for us to learn off and work under. It is a privilege and an honour for me to work with him.”

Tierney, though, expressed hope that Cosgrove, the 21-year-old English striker who only joined Aberdeen in the summer, hadn't intended to injure his opponent.

“You would like to think that there wasn’t any malice,” he said. “It could happen in any game, but you would like to think there was no intent to hurt anybody. You don’t know.

“Maybe Aberdeen like to be aggressive and to get in our face. They always make a good game of it.”

Tierney was delighted Celtic managed to bounce back from the 3-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of Zenit St Petersburg in the last 32 of the Europa League in Russia on Thursday night with a vital win.

“To go up there and get a result on that pitch was brilliant,” he said. “Coming off a bad result in midweek, only having a couple of days to recover, and going to a hard place wasn’t easy. But we got the win and the clean sheet and we are all happy.

“We are always positive that’s the way it is at Celtic. You are always going to have games and we dealt with it great today.”

The 20-year-old took his tally for the 2017/18 campaign to four with his goal in the 83rd minute, but revealed he was just happy for Celtic to pick up three points and restore their nine point lead at the top of the Premiership table.

“It was a great counter,” he said. “Moussa (Dembele) was on the ball. He had an option to his right and I gave him one to the left. He played a great through ball to me and I have hit it that hard it has gone in.

“A goal is a goal for me. As long as the team wins I don’t care who scores if I am being honest. For me, it is brilliant to get another goal. I managed to celebrate in front of the Celtic fans which meant a lot to me.”

The Scotland defender, though, downplayed the significance of a result which increased Celtic’s chances of winning their seventh consecutive Scottish title and admitted his side was looking no further ahead than the game against Dundee in midweek.

“If it sends out a message then it does, but we don’t concentrate on that,” he said. “We concentrate on ourselves. That was the result and performance we wanted.

“We’ve seen people say that other teams could catch us, but for us it is concentrating on every game. We have a game on Wednesday and we have a couple of days to recover before that.”

The win over Aberdeen yesterday was the 10th in succession for Celtic - the Parkhead club last lost to their Pittodrie rivals over two years ago - and Tierney believes that is a run they should be proud of.

“That’s brilliant and a great record for us,” he said. “Every game we want to win and in the right way. We got two goals and the clean sheet and that is brilliant for up here. We were always looking to win up here and we did it the way we wanted.”