Scotland v England: 'Hardy' Tierney boosts Scots - Mark McGhee

Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney came off injured during the Scottish Cup final but was able to take part in Celtic's celebrations
World Cup qualifying: Scotland v England
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Saturday, 10 June Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Scotland assistant coach Mark McGhee expects Kieran Tierney to be "A-okay" to face England in Saturday's World Cup qualifier.

The defender suffered a mouth injury in Celtic's Scottish Cup final win over Aberdeen and Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said Tierney may need surgery.

Tierney, 19, will wear a gum shield against England at Hampden Park.

"We want as many of the boys available as possible," said McGhee at a Scottish FA community football event.

"It's good he will be able to play, especially after his performance moving from left-back to right-back against Slovenia.

Gordon Strachan and Mark McGhee
Gordon Strachan and assistant McGhee are preparing Scotland to face an England side unbeaten in Group F

"I was doing a little bit for the radio at the cup final for the BBC and one of the things I said was that he had to be injured when he stayed down that long.

"He takes his lead from [Celtic captain Scott Brown]. He comes down to the training ground in all weathers, and you can have some cold days at Mar Hall, and he's always wearing short-sleeved T-shirts. If it's good enough for Broony, it's good enough for Kieran. He is a hardy boy.

"He is looking absolutely A-okay, which is great news for us. He is a boy who has broken into the team and could go on and have a lot of caps."

Left-sided Tierney won his third cap wearing the number two jersey against Slovenia, with Hull City full-back Andrew Robertson playing on the left.

That 1-0 win moved Scotland to within a point of third-placed Slovenia and Gordon Strachan's side are two points behind Slovakia. Leaders England are six points clear of the Scots.

Tierney was one of six Celtic players that started at Hampden in March and the club have since completed a treble without losing a domestic match this season.

"They brought a confidence and an understanding between each other which added something to the team," said McGhee of the Celtic players.

"I scored the [winning] goal [for Aberdeen against Celtic] in the [1984 Scottish Cup] final and a week later I scored against England, so hopefully that's an omen. I definitely went into that match confident and I'm sure they will too.

Mark McGhee scores for Scotland against England in 1984
McGhee scored in the 1-1 draw with England in 1984

"Last time out we saw their energy and their enthusiasm and the confidence obviously, but there was another advantage too, in that you feel as if the players are connected. They have an understanding of each other's game.

"That's an attribute that is hard to bring to a team when you have a week to work with them."

Strachan's initial squad of 29 players was trimmed with forwards Steven Fletcher and Jamie Murphy, midfielders John McGinn and Kenny McLean, and goalkeeper Jack Hamilton dropping out.

However, Hamilton has been recalled after Allan McGregor pulled out injured.

"We said that we could make it 23 but Gordon had a discussion with a couple of players and they wanted to be part of the squad regardless of whether they got on the bench," McGhee added.

"That's great to have that willingness to meet up with the squad when they could have been away to the exotic places they go to on holiday these days, which we never went to. I think I went to Millport after the game in '84 but they are all off to Dubai and the likes now."

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