Celtic's Kieran Tierney playing with a smile on his face after title victory

Kieran Tierney has been one of the biggest success stories of a stellar season for Celtic
Ronnie Esplin

KIERAN Tierney is playing with a smile on his face as his career at Celtic continues on an upward curve.

The 19-year-old left-back has been one of the many star performers in Brendan Rodgers' Ladbrokes Premiership-winning team who remain unbeaten domestically this season.

Tierney has continued his progression under the Carnlough man and has become a feature of Gordon Strachan's Scotland squad.

The former Parkhead youth player, who is savouring every minute of the campaign and preparing for the visit of Partick Thistle tonight, said: "I have worked hard every day, as I did last year, and hopefully I have improved as a player.

"I enjoy every game for Celtic, no matter what game it is. That's what I am here to do, play with a smile on my face.

"I have been lasting 90 minutes easier this season and played more games consistently.

"The training has been a lot harder so the fitness has come from that.

"The manager says my composure has improved from the games he watched of me last season, and I have more assists this year as well, but there are little bits of my game I need to work on.

"I speak to John Kennedy (coach) on a daily basis about stuff to work on, and after training it's usually him I work with on it. He has been great."

Celtic have won 28 and drawn two of their 30 league games and the Betfred Cup winners face Rangers in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park later this month.

Like everyone at Celtic Park, Tierney sways away from elaborating too much on treble hopes, saying: "Obviously, we have thought about it.

"We just need to take one game at a time and not get too far ahead of ourselves and be prepared."

However, he is aware of the significance of extending the unbeaten run to the end of the season.

Tierney said: "We have proved we are hard to beat. We have eight to 10 games left and we are looking to go unbeaten, of course, but it's all about us .

"We need to concentrate on doing everything right on the training ground as we have been doing.

"It would be incredible and it would be history that people would talk about for years. I believe we have the potential and we just need to keep working hard.

"The pressure and expectations on us are unbelievable. But it's always the same at Celtic, it's a high-pressure club and that's what we need to deal with as footballers.

"We are not going to take the foot off the gas. We have some big games coming up.

"We are looking to train hard every day, as we have been doing, and keep it going."

Strikers Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths are ruled out of tonight's clash with Partick Thistle.

Dembele is nursing a hamstring problem and Griffiths has a fractured bone in his back, injuries which caused both players to miss the 5-0 title-clinching victory over Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.

Midfielder Tom Rogic continues to gain fitness after recovering from his ankle injury.

Provisional squad: Gordon, Lustig, Tierney, Gamboa, Izaguirre, Toure, Boyata, Sviatchenko, Simunovic, Forrest, Sinclair, Armstrong, Brown, Bitton, Roberts, McGregor, Mackay-Steven, Kouassi, Aitchison, Bailly.

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