Forster eyes World Cup spot

Celtic's Fraser Forster admits securing Champions League football has given his World Cup hopes a massive boost.

Last Updated: 29/08/13 at 13:09 Post Comment

Fraser Forster celebrates with Scott Brown

Fraser Forster celebrates with Scott Brown

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster admits securing Champions League football has given his hopes of travelling to next year's World Cup a massive boost.

The Englishman was this week named in Roy Hodgson's squad for the Three Lions' upcoming qualifiers with Moldova and Ukraine.

His place in the group for next month's double-header only opened up after West Brom stopper Ben Foster was ruled out for 12 weeks with a stress fracture to his foot.

But the 25-year-old believes he will only be able to keep hold of that slot until next year's finals in Brazil if he is playing at the highest level possible for the Hoops.

"It's obviously a World Cup year and it's crucial to be playing Champions League football, especially at a club with the calibre of Celtic," said Forster after Celtic secured their place in the group stages with the 3-2 aggregate win over Shakhter Karagandy.

"It will be a fantastic opportunity again to test ourselves against the best players in the world, which is something we all want to do.

"It's been a good week, I'll take that. It's been brilliant. It's obviously nice to be in the England set-up again.

"Every season seems to be big and I just need to keep myself going. We had a fantastic year last season. We have lost a few players since then but it has been key for us to get in the Champions League again and it keeps everyone moving forward."

Like most of his team-mates, Forster refused to speculate too strongly on who the Parkhead side might be paired with in this afternoon's group stage draw.

But he did admit landing an English side would special to him.

"There's quality throughout the whole draw," he said. "It might be nice to get an English team but we will just wait and see who we get."

Forster was a virtual spectator for much of a breathless encounter with the Kazaks on Wednesday night.

But he was beaten twice in the space of a couple of minutes, only for first Adam Matthews and then the crossbar to rescue him just as Shakhter looked set to burst Celtic's bubble.

Kris Commons had reduced the visitors two-goal first-leg lead to one with his riffled strike just before the break, while Georgios Samaras had the Scots level within three minutes of the restart.

However, with extra-time looming and Parkhead nerves fraying by the second, James Forrest struck a last-gasp winner to send the stadium rocking.

But Forster insists he was never worried, even when Shakhter came too close for comfort.

He said: "We were obviously attacking quite a lot, so that is going to happen. At the end of the day we kept a clean sheet and scored three. I can't really wish for better than that.

"We have a fantastic group of players. We all want to play for each other and give 100 per cent.

"We have a great team spirit - probably the best I've ever experienced. You could see that after the final whistle.

"It was a fantastic result and a lot of that is down to the coaching staff and the way they prepared us for the game. We're just delighted to be back in the Champions League."

Forster, who was a key figure in last year's run to the last 16, also hailed the raucous atmosphere created by the Celtic Park support.

He said: "Every Champions League night here is huge. The fans were brilliant and were a definite 12th man for us.

"They really spurred the lads on and the fans can definitely take some credit for the result.

"Last season is been and gone. It's all about this season now. We wanted to be back in the Champions League and that's what we have done.

"We have probably made it a wee bit hard for ourselves but that's just how we seem to do it."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

am jealous but i do wonder why he's never done anything for barca and why they seemingly don't give two hoots that he's leaving. they clearly rate suarez more than him, that much is inarguable

bobsy
Sanchez Is A Game-Changer For Arsenal...

L

uis Suarez: on his way to Barcelona. Liverpool : on their way to the Conference.

wotyomamased
Liverpool agree sale of Suarez

D

aryl Janmaat, a cheaper alternative to Micah Richards? World Cup semifinalist versus Man City's backup, England's... what, fifth choice right back? That really hammers home the English premium.

harry hotspur
The Blank Gossip

Footer 365

Transfer news: Newcastle agree fee with Montpellier for Remy Cabella

Newcastle have agreed a fee with French club Montpellier to sign midfielder Remy Cabella, according to Sky sources.

Transfer news: West Ham keen on Chelsea winger Christian Atsu, say Sky sources

West Ham are interested in taking Chelsea winger Christian Atsu on loan, according to Sky sources.

Transfer news: Luis Suarez will sign for Barcelona next week after fee agreed with Liverpool

Liverpool have agreed to sell Luis Suarez to Barcelona in a deal which could be worth as much as £75m.

Mail Box

Alexis Sanchez: Really Not THAT Good

The backlash has begun: Why are Barca letting him go if he's any good? We have mails on Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, the World Cup and the wonder of F365...

Stop Your Sobbing And Man Up...

Oh and honey, put the kettle on. We have more World Cup mails but it's mostly an orgasmic explosion at the signing of Alexis Sanchez. Could this be Arsenal's year?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property