Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Forrest aims to end Celtic campaign with a bang

James Forrest (left) is fit and raring to go
James Forrest (left) is fit and raring to go

Celtic players may be looking forward to some time off but fit-again James Forrest admits the season is ending too early for him.

The Hoops and Scotland winger, 21, has been plagued with injuries this season and returned from a "nerve problem" for the thrilling 4-3 extra-time Scottish Cup semi-final win over Dundee United at Hampden on Sunday after being out since March 6.

With a view to Celtic's early start in the Champions League next season – the first of three qualifiers for the Parkhead club begin in the middle of July – boss Neil Lennon has said he could give some players a rest after the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title is wrapped up.

That could happen on Sunday at home to Inverness, if second placed Motherwell do not hand it to Celtic on a plate by failing to beat Dundee United tomorrow night.

Forrest, though, is looking to feature in all five remaining SPL games and the Scottish Cup final against Hibernian, while also hoping to be included in the Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifier away to Croatia on June 7 as he bids to make up for lost time.

"I don't need a rest," said Forrest. "I have had my time off being injured so I want to play in all the games.

"I played on Sunday so I'm hoping to play the remainder of the season.

"Obviously there are only six games left so it is not the best for me but I want to play in as many games as I can.

"If I am fit (for the Scotland game), I will be available.

"It was a nerve problem which was giving me a pain down my leg, which wasn't good. It has been like that since October.

"But I had an injection on my back to calm things down so hopefully I can play the remainder of the games.

"It was never a major problem, it was niggling but hopefully that's me.

"It has been frustrating. Hopefully I can get over that and play more next season."

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