Celtic expect to win and go through says Kieran Tierney ahead of Champions League tie

Celtic's Kieran Tierney is full of confidence ahead of a new season
Celtic's Kieran Tierney is full of confidence ahead of a new season

CELTIC star Kieran Tierney is wary of the challenge that faces them in the Champions League qualifier against Bosnian champions FK Sarajevo.

The eight-in-a-row Scottish champions now have a little over three weeks to prepare for their first competitive game.

Tierney and the majority of the squad returned to training on Tuesday for the first day of pre-season training.

“It’s such a short break so we’re not coming back unfit,” said the 22-year-old full-back Kieran Tierney.

“We’ll lose a bit but we’re still coming back in good shape and good condition.

“We know we’re going to get a good week’s training in here at home, a good week in Austria and then we’ll be ready for the challenges ahead.”

Despite last season’s success, Tierney isn’t expecting an easy ride against Bosnian outfit FK Sarajevo.

Whilst the Hoops won a historic treble-treble last season, their Bosnian counterparts earned themselves a domestic double.

“You don’t get easy games or bad teams nowadays,” Tierney told the Celtic FC website.

“Every team know how to play football. They’re all well organised so there’s a clear standard to the football in that regard.

“They’re going to be hard to break down and they’ll come at us as well. We’re going into the unknown against a team we've never played and against players we’ve never faced.

“It’s a hard ask, but the expectation at Celtic is to win and go through and that’s what we’re planning to do.”

Tierney says that his team-mates are still riding the crest of last season’s wave and will carry that elation with them into the upcoming season.

“We’ve come back off the back of another treble. You can’t do any better than that. We’ve just won a trophy in our last game so going into our first competitive game we’re going to have confidence.”

But while Tierney is full of confidence ahead of a new season, captain Scott Brown is issuing a call for Scotland's football authorities to be lenient with the fixtures.

"For me, the Scottish FA could help us out a little bit," Brown said. "They can look at the fixture list.

"It's almost a full 12 months or a year now and no holiday time."

Celtic’s involvement in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League has forced the club to alter their pre-season arrangements.

"Callum McGregor played 69 games and he has a week-and-a-half off," said Brown. "So it's hard to get everyone balanced off.

"For us in the early games, it's about making sure we're up to scratch. It also means less running in pre-season because you're straight into the games.

"Here's hoping in the next couple of years they (the Scottish FA) can help us out. It would help most clubs."

First qualifying round draw for the Uefa Champions League

Group 1

Nõmme Kalju (EST) v Shkëndija (MKD)

S?duva (LTU) v Crvena zvezda (SRB)

Ararat-Armenia (ARM) v AIK (SWE)

Astana (KAZ) v CFR Cluj (ROU)

Ludogorets (BUL) v Ferencváros (HUN)

Group 2

Celtic (SCO) v Sarajevo (BIH)

Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA) v Saburtalo (GEO)

F91 Dudelange (LUX) v Valletta (MLT)

Partizani (ALB) v Qaraba? (AZE)

Slovan Bratislava (SVK) v Sutjeska (MNE)

Group 3

Linfield (NIR) v Rosenborg (NOR)

Valur Reykjavík (ISL) v Maribor (SVN)

Dundalk (IRL) v Riga (LVA)

The New Saints (WAL) v Winners of the preliminary round

HJK Helsinki (FIN) v HB Tórshavn (FRO)

BATE Borisov (BLR) v Piast Gliwice (POL)