James Forrest sets Celtic target as milestone man says Ange Postecoglou’s side ‘stamped our authority’ on Livingston


James Forrest racked up more milestones by helping Lash Livingston.

But the Celtic ace is adamant he was more pleased at pushing his side back clear at the top of the Premiership and the authority of his team’s display than his own landmarks.

Forrest’s strike at the Tony Macaroni was his first of the season in the league.

In scoring during the second period with a sweet left-foot finish, I have joined a select band of individuals to net in 13 consecutive top-flight seasons.

Forrest ‘s effort also moved him onto 96 in total for the club as he edges towards reaching the illustrious 100 club at Celtic.

But the 30-year-old wasn’t ecstatic at making the mark, just relieved, and he said: “Someone said that to me (13 seasons) a couple of months ago and I have felt as though I have had lots of chances and just not been able to take them. Sometimes the harder chances go in.




“The manager always says if the forward players keep getting in the right areas then they will get the goals and I was glad to do that.

“It (100 goals) has always been a target. When I scored my last goal, it seems a while ago now, I said that when you are playing with such good players in the squad you are always going to get chances and it will just come down to me whether I take them or not.

“I managed to get one, so hopefully I can keep adding to it.

“Normally it’s afterwards you talk about stuff you have done. I know it’s not easy. I’m not going to say, ‘When I score four goals’. I am just going to keep working hard and try to add to that and help the team in the coming games.”

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Forrest did not go overboard with his celebrations after bagging the third goal of success in West Lothian.

Asked about his main emotion, he smiled: “Maybe a bit of relief. It was to make it 3-0 as well.

“I had not scored in a few games and it helped the team get to 3-0, so it was maybe a bit of relief.




“I can’t even remember now, just relieved and buzzing I scored.”

Forrest’s goal and performance provided his manager spot on.

Although he’s not been at peak performance in recent weeks, Postecoglou backed his attacker prior to the contest to produce more big moments before the campaign was out.

Forrest didn’t take long to prove his boss correct and said: “I have been feeling good. The manager is not bothered who scores the goals.

“A lot of this season we have spread the goals amongst the squad. That helps, you are not just looking at one or two players to keep scoring the goals, even though a couple have scored more than others.

“If I just keep working hard and getting the chances, they will come sooner or later.”

Forrest could also have scored in the first period when released by a sublime Nir Bitton through pass and added: “It was a good chance.

“Niro was wanting me to hit it first time, I think he was wanting an assist.

“But I just kind of lost my footing and rolled my ankle, but I made up for it in the second half.”

Celtic were strong in their performance and Forrest believed a freshness within the group helped on that front.

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Postecoglou put him, Bitton, Anthony Ralston and Tom Rogic into the starting line-up and there was a zip about the team from the outset.

Forrest believes that’s going to be important through the run-in.




When asked if Celtic had played with authority as they ended a 15-year winless streak at the venue, he said: “That’s probably a good word. Right from the start, we knew they had been on a good run of form and were feeling good about themselves.

“There was talk about us coming here and not being able to win over the years, so I felt we stamped our authority and got a few goals. It was a really good day, to be fair.

“The manager changed four players from the team the other night. That’s been really good with having a big squad. It helps players freshen up and the intensity of our play was good.

“That’s the best we have been here for a while and I think that is going to be important for the run-in, having that bigger squad.”

Opposing manager David Martindale felt Celtic were primed for the contest because of their poor recent record in Livingston and Forrest added: “Definitely. There’s no hiding away from it. Everyone knew, even the new players, that it was going to be tough.

“Right from Joe (Hart) to Daizen (Maeda), we were really good. Even after we missed the penalty, we kept going and stayed the same in the second half.

“It’s the best we have played here. We scored three and had other chances as well.”

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www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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