Belfast Telegraph

It's not going to be friendly, but Forster wants to face the Scots for England

By Simon Peach

Fraser Forster would love to represent England at his old stomping ground, but knows there is no room for sentiment against auld enemy Scotland.

The Three Lions face Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley on Saturday and a mouth-watering friendly at Celtic Park against Gordon Strachan's side next Tuesday.

The match will be the first time England have travelled north of the border since 1999 - an occasion made all the more special for Southampton goalkeeper Forster due to his Celtic connections.

The 26-year-old enjoyed some special European nights and collected three Scottish league titles during a four-year stay with the Bhoys, only leaving in the summer after Saints stumped up £10m.

"There's no such thing as a friendly between Scotland and England," smiled Forster.

"It had been a great start to the season for me personally, and a fantastic start for us as a club.

"It's just a case of turning up and seeing what happens. It is up to the manager what team he goes with.

"It will be a very special occasion, definitely not quiet.

"It's a stadium with a fantastic atmosphere. For an Scotland v England match it'll be very different to anything I've experienced, but it'll be a fantastic game."

Number one Joe Hart is likely to start against Slovenia, but manager Roy Hodgson may be tempted to rotate the side for the Scotland friendly.

Forster, one of three goalkeepers in the squad, is not expecting too many alterations, but would love the chance to step out again at Celtic Park.

"It will be two tough games we've got and I'd imagine we'd go quite strong," he said.

"I haven't really given it (playing against Scotland) any thought. If it happens, it would be brilliant, but it is out of my control and I can only worry about what I can control.

"They have got some quality players in the squad.

"I played with Scott Brown, who leads by example and he's a fantastic captain. They've got great players and it will be a very tough game."

Scotland's upturn in fortunes under Strachan has come as no shock to Forster, nor has Southampton's astonishing start to the campaign.

St Mary's witnessed an unparalleled summer of upheaval on and off the pitch, yet they enter the international break second in the Premier League after their best-ever start to a top-flight season.

"There is something really special about the club," Forster said after overcoming Leicester 2-0.

"There is a togetherness which is something I've never experienced before, especially when you consider the turnover of players in the summer.

"That's a credit to the lads who have settled in so fast and a credit to the players who were already here for making us feel so welcome.

"We've got a great team spirit. The manager and coaching staff make us believe in ourselves and give us the courage to go out and play."

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