Kieran Tierney: Celtic defender 'gutted' to be pulled out of Scotland double-header

Celtic's Kieran Tierney, Leigh Griffiths and Scott Brown
Tierney and Leigh Griffiths are both available again for Celtic, while Scott Brown is also back in training

Kieran Tierney says he was "gutted" to miss out on Scotland's Nations League double-header and was willing to play.

The Celtic left-back was one of nine call-offs last week before Alex McLeish's side beat Albania and Israel to earn a play-off spot.

Tierney says playing too many games, the last on Livingston's Astroturf pitch, was the cause of his withdrawal.

"The first few days of training [my hamstring] was a bit tight still and I felt something," he said.

"I said 'I'm fine, I'll carry on' but they said they can't take risks like that and they pulled me out and sent me for a scan. After that I had to come in here for rehab.

"I was gutted to have been pulled out. I want to play every game I can."

'I'll do what's best for my country'

Tierney stayed at home with his father to watch Scotland beat Israel 3-2 on Tuesday at Hampden as they moved to within potentially two games of a Euro 2020 spot.

Since the first two of his 12 caps, the 21-year-old has played most games for his country out of his conventional left-back berth, being deployed as a centre-half and also at right-back.

It is a situation Tierney insists he is comfortable with as he eyes a prosperous future for the national team.

"The main thing is Scotland going through and qualifying. That's what is important to me," he said.

"I'm not going to get angry or disappointed by that. You want to play left-back, of course, but you want to do what's best for your country. If that's what the manager thinks, I'm more than happy to do that."

Premiership leaders Celtic face Hamilton Academical on Saturday in the early kick-off knowing a victory would pile pressure on Hearts, who are level with Celtic on points, for their trip to St Mirren later in the afternoon.

Tierney says he will be ready if called upon.

"I've been training the last couple of days and it's getting better," he added. "We know what the problem is now so it's just managing it."

Striker Leigh Griffiths, who has not played since 7 October, and midfielder Olivier Ntcham, who has missed Celtic's last four games, are both available again.

Captain Scott Brown, who has played just 21 minutes since the end of September, has also returned to training but Saturday will come too soon for his return.

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