World Cup 2018: Celtic's Kieran Tierney prepared to fill Scotland's right-back void

Scotland's Kieran Tierney and Slovenia's Rene Krhin
Kieran Tierney (left) was winning his third Scotland cap

Kieran Tierney is prepared to continue as Scotland's auxiliary right-back after coming through a high-stakes experiment with flying colours.

The Celtic left-back was handed the role in Scotland's crucial World Cup qualifier against Slovenia.

And Tierney could continue there against England at Hampden on 10 June.

"It's up to the gaffer, whatever he thinks is best and whatever he thinks the team that is going to give us the best chance of winning," said Tierney.

Scotland had been left short at right-back after Alan Hutton retired from international football and Callum Paterson suffered cruciate ligament damage.

Derby County winger Ikechi Anya had impressed at right-back against England and Canada.

But, as Hull City's Andy Robertson revealed after the 1-0 win over Slovenia, head coach Gordon Strachan decided to move one of his three left-backs over to the left.

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Rangers' Lee Wallace missed out through injury, Robertson was chosen on the left and Strachan showed his faith in 19-year-old Tierney for a debut in the right-back role.

"I have been training there all week, so I had a feeling I'd be playing there," said Tierney, who was winning his third Scotland cap.

"The manager and the coaching staff have been giving me pointers. I enjoyed it."

Strachan said before the game that his side needed three points to retain hopes of qualifying for the 2018 finals in Russia.

Instead, the victory moved the Scots two points off second-top Slovakia and gave them a fighting chance of making a play-off.

It was a big occasion for Tierney's Celtic team-mate, Stuart Armstrong, to win his first cap and the midfielder responded by setting up Chris Martin's 88th-minute winning goal four days before his 25th birthday.

Asked about his role in the winner, the former Dundee United player said: "It feels good, but what feels better is to have contributed in a positive way to three points, which we needed to put us in a very good position in the group," he said.

Scotland's Chris Martin and Stuart Armstrong celebrate
Chris Martin and Stuart Armstrong combined for Scotland's goal

"Kech [Ikechi Anya] has made a really good run on the outside just to drag that defender and Chris has held a really good position in the box and has done brilliantly to turn and finish."

Armstrong also collected the man-of-the-match award, while Strachan declared it the best Scotland debut he could remember.

Clutching his cap, he said: "It's a proud moment to hold this.

"It's a proud moment for my family. To cap that off with three points is great."

Strachan was widely expected to quit as team boss had they failed to win, but Armstrong thought the side responded well to such pressure.

"We had trained well all week, there was a good atmosphere, and it's important sometimes to stay positive when things aren't going the way you want them to," he said.

"And I think we responded really well."

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