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  • James Forrest: We need to be clinical on the European stage

    James Forrest: We need to be clinical on the European stage

    By: Tony Connelly on 08 Nov, 2018 14:01

  • WITH 13 goals in their last three games, Celtic will be feeling confident of finding the back of the net tonight against RB Leipzig, but not conceding will be equally as important and Brendan Rodgers’ side will also look to build on the three clean sheets from last week.

    In the last game between the sides, the German outfit only had three shots on target but they managed to score two goals. Over the years, playing in elite European competition and international level has taught James Forrest that the clinical nature in front of goal is a big part in why teams make it to this level.

    Experience counts for a lot at this level and it is something that Forrest has in abundance. If selected, the Hoops winger will mark his 316th appearance tonight. That number is significant because it sees him surpass the number of appearances made by Henrik Larsson and draws him level with Lisbon Lion, John Clark.

    Throughout those appearances, Forrest has learned that high-level opposition will capitalise on small windows of opportunity and he highlighted the importance of Celtic defending well as a team.

    “The recent performances and not conceding gives us confidence,” Forrest told the official match programme. “We’re working hard as a team to try and not give away any chances. We’ve had a few clean sheets and I think that does help.  

    “You find in Europe when you play against teams that the difference is they might not create a lot of chances but they’re clinical. We’ve seen it happen in Europe where one team only gets a couple of shots and they end up scoring two. It is hard and we know we need to be clinical in Europe because sometimes you don’t get as many chances, so we need to try and take them.

    “We know they’re going to be good. They have quick players all over the pitch and they’re dangerous going forward. We need to make sure that we focus on ourselves and be right up for it from the start.”

    Forrest feels that two additional factors could come into play tonight that could play in Celtic’s favour in looking to clinch a win. Having played against Leipzig for 90 minutes already, Celtic have a better understanding of what they need to do to overwhelm their opponents.

    The second is the fact that the German side must play in the atmosphere of Celtic Park which has so often helped the Hoops find another level when it matters most.

    “We know what to expect now having played them so recently, so we have even more to work with now," he said. "It’ll be a packed Celtic Park so hopefully we can give the fans something to cheer about early on and get them right on our side.

    “The manager said three wins at home in the competition were a must, so we’re absolutely targeting that. Everyone knows what we need to do now. We’ve had two disappointing results in the last couple games in the competition so we’re determined to get the win.”

    Read the full and exclusive interview with James Forrest ONLY in tonight's official match programme. On sale at the game.

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