KIERAN TIERNEY has little to prove to the Celtic fans this season.
The teenager has been a massive success from the moment he broke into the Hoops’ first team.
However, he is taking nothing for granted.
This campaign, he believes, will be even tougher as the element of surprise has vanished.
Celtic’s defeat by Gibraltar part-timers Lincoln Red Imps was a reminder that, just when you think things can’t get any worse for Scottish clubs in Europe, along comes another humiliation.
Tierney said: “I probably have more to prove this season than the last one because I was new then.
“This time people will be expecting me to be on top again but it will be difficult for me. All I can do is work hard.
“It’s a challenge every footballer faces in their second season.
“Hopefully I can go out and prove myself again.
“Success for me would be to maintain my place with Celtic, playing every week and playing well.”
Tierney is reluctant to set long-term goals but his immediate aim is to help Celtic record a convincing win against the Red Imps in Wednesday’s second leg of the Champions League qualifier.
He went on: “The plan is to win convincingly.
“We need to go out in the right mind-set to ensure we beat them and go through.
“We should be trying to score a lot against them.
“We can put it right.
“I was so gutted after we suffered the defeat in Gibraltar last week.
“That was the lowest I’ve felt.
“Was it worse than losing to Rangers? Neck and neck I’d say.
“You can’t lose either of those games. You hate to be beaten in them.”
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has been impressed by Tierney and handed the Scotland man a five-year contract extension that takes him to 2021.
The player has been impressed with the way Rodgers has handled the fallout from the European flop.
He said: “The manager has been focussing on team unity.
“After a defeat like that it is easy to blame others or go in a mood.
“However, he is looking for us to be positive and stay together as a team.
“The fans have been talking with great excitement about the new manager and we want to keep them onside.
“There is the new standing section at Celtic Park and there will be a lot of noise coming from there this season.
“The boys in the dressing room are buzzing about that.
“It’s where I’d be if I wasn’t a player.”
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