Kieran Tierney is confident Celtic will “stand up” to the physical challenge posed by Betfred Cup Final opponents Motherwell at Hampden on Sunday.
The Fir Park club attracted criticism, notably from the Parkhead side’s manager Brendan Rodgers, for their style of play in their semi-final victory over Rangers last month. That game saw the Ibrox club’s defender Fabio Cardoso suffer a broken nose in a clash with Ryan Bowman.
Motherwell striker Bowman had previously angered Celtic in February this year with a knee-high challenge on Tierney during a league fixture which Rodgers claimed could have ended the 20-year-old right-back’s career.
Tierney is preparing himself for an arduous test against his hometown club this weekend but insists he and his team-mates will cope with whatever approach Stephen Robinson’s side bring to the first showpiece occasion of the domestic season.
“Everyone knows about the tackle he [Bowman] made on me,” said Tierney. “I don’t think he meant it and I wouldn’t like to think he meant it.
“Motherwell are a strong and physical team but we have shown over the past season and a bit we can stand up to all the different challenges that are put in front us.
“We also know they are an in-form team. You don’t go up to Aberdeen and win 2-0, which they did last weekend, if you are not a good team. They will be fresh and really confident and we know it will be a really tough game.”
Tierney says Celtic now have additional motivation to lift the silverware after suffering their 7-1 Champions League defeat against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night which was watched by a stunned travelling support of over 2,000 in the Parc des Princes.
“We want to win the cup even more now for the fans,” added Tierney. “They paid a lot of money and gave up their hard earned cash to come over to Paris to watch us. They are a great support and we let them down on Wednesday.
“But everybody gave their all, there is no doubt about that. This team always gives their all. Hopefully, we can now repay the fans on Sunday.
“You need to put the negatives away and think positive. We have to learn from it and as footballers you are going to have bad days. It is part of the job and Sunday is all about bouncing back. We have to put the PSG game behind us now. It is done and we’ve had the chat and now we have a massive game on Sunday and that is what we are preparing for.”