KIERAN TIERNEY has earned himself a new nickname in the Scotland camp after switching from left back to right back in their crucial Russia 2018 qualifier with Slovenia – Danny McGrain.

The legendary defender famously moved from right-back to left-back during his own playing days so the national team could accommodate both him and Sandy Jardine of Rangers.

And he even helped his country go undefeated in their three group games against Zaire, Brazil and Yugoslavia at the World Cup finals in West Germany in 1974 playing out of position.

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Now Celtic starlet Tierney has done exactly the same thing as the all-time Parkhead great – something which has not gone unnoticed by his delighted team-mates.

“The boys have been calling him Danny McGrain for the last few days,” revealed Scotland manager Gordon Strachan as he looked back on the thrilling 1-0 win at Hampden on Sunday evening.

However, that is not a sobriquet which is likely to bother the immensely gifted 19-year-old, who switched sides so that Strachan could play both him and Andy Robertson, one little bit.

KT’s exceptional display in a victory that keeps alive the country’s slender hopes of reaching the World Cup finals next summer underlined that.

The Robertson/Tierney full-back combination is one that promises to serve the national team well for years to come. After all, they have a combined age of just 42.

Strachan said: “When I told him what I was going to do he said: ‘No problem’. Listen, he was just superb.

“A lot of players have moved from right back to left back over the years, but I didn’t think it should be any different going the other way.

“There are loads of the guys who have gone to the other side, but when you have got two players like that you have to try and play them both. You have to try and get your best players on the pitch.

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“I had it in my mind for ages and I didn’t want to change because I knew what they (Slovenia) were like on the physical side and how they would attack through the middle.

“People were thinking that Kech (Ikechi Anya) did well in midweek, but I had it in my mind for ages to do that.

“The fellow on the other side (Robertson) just kept bombing on and leaving people in his wake. I also know that Kech (Ikechi Anya) is good for 25 minutes when he comes on.”

Tierney, who was, incredibly, winning just his third cap on Sunday, wasn’t the only Celtic player to suggest he has a long and glittering international career ahead of him.

Stuart Armstrong, who made his debut for his country at the age of 24, also impressed Strachan enormously.

“I always knew his running power was good, but I didn’t know how strong he had become with his running power,” he said. “It is okay to run, but to be strong and run at the same time is difficult and that’s what he’s got.

“That changed when he moved position about September time really. It has changed his career. It has definitely helped Celtic and it has helped us. So players make a big difference.”

“I thought Scott Brown was back to his best as well. We could be here all day talking about good players.”

Asked if he expected Brown to be available for the Scotland game against England in June – a match which Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has misgivings about his captain being involved in due to its proximity to the Champions League qualifiers – Strachan was non-committal.

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He said: “The guys want to play, that’s the thing. If anybody wants to play it’s not a problem.”

Hampden was less than half-full for the meeting with Slovenia on Sunday night - despite Scotland’s hopes of progressing to the Russia 2018 finals hinging on victory.

The scheduling of the game on Sunday night on Mother’s Day was far from ideal, but the poor turnout also indicated that supporters have grown frustrated by poor displays.

Strachan, though, has no concerns about the low attendance and stressed it is down to his team to win back spectators.

Asked if he hoped the win would persuade fans to come back, he said: “Hopefully. It’s not like I am sitting around saying: ‘Och, I can’t believe they haven’t turned up’. It’s understandable. Of course I can understand that.

“If you aren’t playing well at anything then nobody really wants to go and see you. If you play well they do. It is understandable.

“But I don’t feel it’s offensive to me or the players. That’s just life. At any stadium in the world, if you don’t play well people don’t turn up. There have been stadiums in Scotland in the last couple of years which haven’t been full. If you get the right stuff then you’re fine.”

Strachan added: “It was a strange, strange feeling at the end. When they started off playing I thought ‘that’s what we’re trying to achieve, that’s what we used the game the other night for, to find out who could run, who was fit and who could play with each other’.

“Satisfying? I think the satisfying bit comes when you go in the dressing room and they are all leaping about, jumping and singing. It is a pity we don’t see each other for a long time now.”