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Grant: Tierney has potential to be as good as McGrain

The Scotland assistant coach sees similarities with the Celtic and Scotland great.

Scotland assistant coach Peter Grant has praised Kieran Tierney, saying the versatile defender has the quality and attitude to be as good as Danny McGrain.

The Celtic defender was named in Alex McLeish's Scotland squad for the friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary on Monday, with Liverpool's Andy Robertson and Wolves' Barry Douglas making up a trio of talented left-backs vying for contention.

Tierney filled in at right-back on occasion for Gordon Strachan but McLeish has said that would only happen in emergencies but seems inclined to play him in the centre of defence.

Grant emphasised the importance of playing in positions you know and said Tierney and Robertson could be accommodated in the same team.

"Kieran knows that he can play the left centre-back, he knows he can play left back," he said. "In the modern day game, especially at international level, and European level, there's not a hell of a lot of crosses coming in your box.

"It's all about positional play and his positional play has been outstanding. And you're fortunate enough that Andy Robertson is playing at the top of his game, at a top class club with a lot of pressure on him as well, and what a performer he has been. We're very, very fortunate.

"There'll always be places for those boys in the team, never mind the squad. That's a guarantee."

Grant said he could only think of Sandy Jardine and McGrain as players who could take either full-back slot for Scotland and said that comparing Tierney with McGrain was fair.

"Danny was my hero and still is," he said. "I was very fortunate that when I made my debut Danny was playing. So I know how good Danny was.

"It was in everything he did. His professionalism away from the pitch, he was the first guy I saw going to a gym.

"The gym in Celtic Park was in the old stand and you needed a coat on to go there, it was that cold, but Danny was up there every day working on his body.

"He was physically so strong but also one of the best defenders there's ever been for Scotland and and in Europe that time. I think he was voted one of the best in the world.

"I think to be mentioned in the same breath as him, Kieran deserves that.

"He knows he's got to go and win those caps for Scotland to get up there with Danny but he has the potential to go that distance, that's for sure."

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