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

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Digne agent denies Liverpool talks

Lucas Digne's agent has denied reports he has held talks with Liverpool regarding a move to Anfield for the Paris Saint-Germain left-back.

Mourinho scuppered Reds' Costa move

A new biography has revealed how Jose Mourinho scuppered Liverpool's bid to sign Diego Costa - a year before he arrived in west London.

Ramos 'extends' Real Madrid contract

Manchester United's pursuit of Sergio Ramos is over after the centre-back agreed a new contract extension at Real Madrid.

Mail Box

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

Getting Tired Of De Gea's Disrespect

One Manchester United fan is growing weary of David de Gea's disrespect. Plus thoughts on Southampton's summer, Balotelli loan, and Depay in the centre. Why?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company