Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Forster keeps faith in Celtic becoming Euro stars

Fraser Forster says Celtic can live with the best

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster believes Celtic's impressive display against Barcelona is proof they are good enough to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League

Forster keeps faith in Celtic becoming Euro stars Raising the bar: Fraser Forster says Celtic can live with the bestGoalkeeper Fraser Forster believes Celtic's impressive display against Barcelona is proof they are good enough to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Hoops suffered a devastating last-gasp 2-1 defeat in Tuesday’s dramatic Group G clash at the Nou Camp, having looked set to take a point from the encounter.

Neil Lennon's men took the lead against one of the best sides in the world when a Georgios Samaras header went in off Barca's Javier Mascherano.

But the home side hit back through Andres Iniesta just before the interval, then Jordi Alba grabbed the decisive goal deep into injury time.

Celtic may have returned to Glasgow without the points but took plenty of plaudits for a performance which followed a stunning away win against Spartak Moscow earlier this month.

They sit second in the section on four points, having opened with a goalless draw against Benfica, and Forster has more belief than ever heading into the remaining group games, starting with the visit of Barcelona on November 7.

Forster, who showed why he was recently called into Roy Hodgson's England squad with a superb display against the Catalan giants, said: “We've shown in the three games that we can pick points up from everyone.

“If we play like that in the home game against Barca, and then in the final two games, I don't see why we can't get out of this group.

“If we show the same attitude and application, I think we've got a great chance.”

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell paid tribute to the manager and players, as well as the thousands of Hoops fans who made the trip to Barcelona.

He is now hoping for another exciting tussle when the two sides meet again.

“It was a tremendous occasion and one that we were delighted to be involved in,” he said.

“The Champions League is the stage which Celtic strive to compete on, and we have shown this season that we deserve our place alongside Europe's elite clubs.

“To play a team of Barcelona's quality, rightly regarded as the best club side in the world, is the toughest football challenge we can face.

“But Neil and his players rose magnificently to that challenge and were desperately unlucky not to get what we all felt would have been a well-deserved point.

“As for our own supporters, they have shown once again why they are so important to the club.”

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