Hoops defender Kieran Tierney has insisted that Celtic will head into the Europa League with a point to prove.

Brendan Rodgers’ side parachuted into the second tier tournament despite the 1-0 loss to Anderlecht on Wednesday evening.

And while Tierney was disappointed with the meekness of Celtic’s performance, he has maintained that the psychology behind the conclusive game in the group had an effect on the way that the Parkhead side performed.

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Celtic will discover their Europa League fate when the draw is made on Monday but Tierney has maintained that there will be a feeling at the club of doing themselves justice when the ties come around.

“We were up against some of the best teams in the world and it is hard at that level,” said Tierney. “We did feel as though we let ourselves down against Anderlecht because we can do better than that.

“We need to play better than that, that’s for sure. But we got the job done. We would like to prove that we can do better.”

Celtic have a gruelling run of games throughout December now with the next two weekends bringing trips to the capital for meetings with Hibs and Hearts respectively.

Sandwiched in between that is a midweek meeting with Hamilton too and Tierney has pointed out that he has almost eclipsed his tally of games from last season already this term, such has been Celtic’s crammed diary.

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Injury at this stage last term meant that Tierney made 43 appearances for club and country; this season he has already clocked up 35. Assuming he plays in in the remaining seven games of this year, he will be just one game shy of levelling that tally as Celtic jet out to Dubai for their mid-season break.

“It has been a crazy schedule since the end of June,” said Tierney. “I think I have played almost as many games this season as I did over the entire course of last season. That just shows you just how crazy it has been but that is just what it is at Celtic and you need to be able to deal with that.

“And overall I think we have to be pleased. We have won the League Cup, we are seven points clear at the top of the table and we have European football after Christmas so there are lots and lots of positives to take.”

Rodgers is rarely critical of his players in the public domain but his reaction to the defeat on Tuesday night was arguably the most outspoken he has been – including in the aftermath of heavy defeats to Barcelona, PSG and Bayern Munich.

While Celtic will always be forgiven for being lacerated by teams who will fancy their chances of winning the tournament, there was a feeling that they simply didn’t turn up against Anderlecht.

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Uncharacteristically, Rodgers could be seen shaking his head on the touchline as Celtic laboured through the performance with the body language of the Hoops boss underlining his exasperation as time and time again his side gifted the ball away.

It will be interesting to see just what investment is made into the playing squad in the January transfer window when it opens next month.

Rodgers has rarely had a full squad available to him throughout the European campaign to date with defensive problems particularly prevalent.

In any case, Tierney has insisted that there will be time to address some of the issues that came to the fore against Anderlecht.

“We’re through,” said Tierney. “That was the main aim. Of course, we’d like to play much better, there’s no doubt about it. We’d like to put on a show for the fans who support us thick and thin and come everywhere with us.

“We’re disappointed but we have European football after Christmas and at the start, that’s what we wanted.

“I think we need to try and improve in every area. It wasn’t our best game, we know that. When you’re 3-0 up going into the game it’s different mentally.

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"You saw that in Astana, we went over there and we were already winning. Games like that are different but we’ll learn from this, the boys have defended well and we go through.”

Meanwhile, Tierney also hailed captain Scott Brown, who surpassed Kenny Dalglish to become the Scotsman with the most top-tier European appearances when he featured against the Brussels side.

“He’s a club legend,” said the teenager. “It’s brilliant for me to work under him as a player and learn from him. I’m learning from the best.

“Tonight Broony dug in as he always does and he was brilliant. He’s solid for us in the middle of the park and he demands the best from us and we all work hard as a team for him.

“We take that we’re through. There is no doubt about it – we would have liked to have played better and put on a show for the fans for the fans who support us through thick and thin and that aspect was disappointing.

“But we have got European football after Christmas and that is what we wanted.

“We haven’t thought about that. It isn’t something that is on our minds before a game. We just want to go out there and do our best and we didn’t do that on Wednesday night.”