14 Mar Kieran Tierney: I still like to relax with friends before a big Celtic game
Kieran Tierney likes to prepare for big games with a game of pool and believes that relaxed approach will ensure he avoids being snookered as Celtic look to put themselves in the frame for back-to-back Trebles.
The Hoops youngster has revealed how he relieves the pressure ahead of big European and Old Firm clashes by simply hanging out with friends.
Football barely features on the agenda as he prefers to focus on other stress-free escapes.
That laid-back build-up worked a treat on Sunday as Tierney and the rest of his Parkhead team-mates refused to panic despite finding themselves a man down against Rangers following the dismissal of Jozo Simunovic.
A 3-2 victory for Brendan Rodgers’ 10-man outfit was sealed by Odsonne Edouard’s second-half winner and the result now puts the champions on course for a seventh-straight title.
Victory over Gers in next month’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final would also leave Celtic staring at an unprecedented second clean sweep in as many seasons.
But despite having the pressure of making Scottish football history weighing down on his shoulders, the 20-year-old reckons the best way to cope with it is to behave like the young man he is.
“Before a big game I still go out and play pool or snooker with my friends or play the PlayStation with them, just the normal stuff really,” the Hoops defender told the Celtic View.
“If you think about it too much and change your routines, you don’t feel as comfortable.
“You need to surround yourself with friends and people who make you feel positive so you’re not over-thinking it.
“When I’m out with my friends I’m having a laugh with them and we don’t talk about football an awful lot.
“Obviously Celtic is our topic and I like talking about Celtic as well because we all love the club, but we’re all on the same level and just get on with it really.
“It’s good to chill out and talk about other stuff sometimes and that can help you be mentally refreshed when you come into the games.”