Alex McLeish says he’s open to playing Celtic star Kieran Tierney in central defence for Scotland

Kieran Tierney captained Scotland against the Netherlands (SNS Group / Craig Williamson)


KIERAN TIERNEY’S international future could be in central defence, Scotland manager Alex McLeish has hinted.

With left-backs Tierney and Andy Robertson among Scotland’s best players, McLeish has already considered how to fit them both into his team.

Tierney played on the right of a back four towards the end of Gordon Strachan’s reign and also featured in central defence in Malky Mackay’s sole game in caretaker charge against Holland.

The 20-year-old has also featured in a three-man central defence for Celtic.

When asked whether he would consider playing Tierney at centre-back, McLeish said: “Of course. He had a smashing game up at Aberdeen in the friendly game when Malky Mackay took the team. He didn’t look out of place in the centre-back position.

“It’s a shame they play in the same position but Tierney can adapt. I know he has played at right-back as well. I probably wouldn’t want to play him at right-back unless there is a real emergency.

“That wouldn’t be my plan for Tierney, but we do have definitive plans about how we want to play.

“You have to play your best players. I’m sure we can find a solution.”

Another left-back was added to the mix as McLeish named his squad for the friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary later this month as Barry Douglas was rewarded for his form for Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves. The 28-year-old has scored four goals and set up 11 in the league this season.

McLeish said: “He’s been in outstanding form for Wolves. They are top of the league, that says it all. He is a fixture in the team, he’s made a lot of goals, plenty of assists. He has a great delivery.

“A lot of times in international football and Champions League, games are often won by set-pieces. The beauty of a delivery from a set-piece is sometimes the thing that wins you a game. “