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  • Forrest: Celts must take best form into Europa League last 32

    Forrest: Celts must take best form into Europa League last 32

    By: Tony Connelly on 14 Dec, 2018 11:31

  • JAMES Forrest said Celtic intend to carry the best of their performances from the Europa League group stages into the knockout round as they aim to build on last season’s campaign.

    Celtic suffered a 2-1 defeat to FC Salzburg at Paradise in the final game of Group B, but a late goal from Rosenborg against RB Leipzig in the other fixture meant Celtic finished above the German Bundesliga side.

    Forrest admitted he was disappointed with Celtic’s performance against Austrian champions and said it would probably take time to feel the sense of accomplishment at qualifying for the next round.

    “It’s not good getting beat at home in Europe in front of your own fans,” said the Hoops winger. “We’re disappointed with the result and performance on the night, but in the next couple of days it will sink in that we’ve done enough over the six games to get through.

    “Right from the start I don’t feel we did ourselves justice in the game so we’re disappointed with that. We’ll look closely at where we could improve. We never want to lose, especially in home in European competition, so we’ll want to address that ahead of the next round. That’s a while away, though, so we’ll recover for our game against Hibs at the weekend and after that, we can see what comes from the draw.”

    The nine points accumulated over the course of the group stages was ultimately enough for Brendan Rodgers' side to reach the next round and was in keeping with the rest of the competition, with six of the 12 groups having teams qualify with nine points or less.

    Forrest acknowledged that Celtic’s performances over the course of the group made them deserving of a place in the last 32, but said they will look to carry their best form into the next round.

    “The previous two games in the group were very positive results and good performances," he said. "That’s what got us through, our hard work over the course of the six games. We’ll look to carry that on into the next round. We’ll try and forget about the Salzburg game. The gaffer and coaches will watch it back to help us make the improvements.

    “We set out to be in Europe after Christmas every year so to be able to do that two years running feels good. It’s great for the fans to have that and hopefully we can do better in the next round that we did last year.”

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