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Hoops confident of making the next big step: Forrest

 

By Ronnie Esplin

James Forrest ranks his spectacular winner against Rosenborg, which took Celtic into the Champions League play-off, among his finest for the club. The winger scored the only goal in Trondheim on Wednesday night to secure a narrow but deserved 1-0 aggregate victory for the Scottish champions.

The Norwegian side were enjoying their best spell when Forrest took a Scott Sinclair pass on the right-hand side of the penalty area in the 69th minute and lashed the ball in off the bar to put the Hoops into today's draw in Nyon.

"It's definitely up there," Forrest said. "It was frustrating in the first leg but we went over there and played really well.

"To get that goal and to get us through to the next round is a great feeling."

With striker Leigh Griffiths still short of match practice following his recovery from a calf injury, Forrest started the match as the central attacker in a front three, having impressed in that position during the 5-0 friendly win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last weekend.

When Griffiths was brought on in the second half, Forrest moved wide right from where he made his crucial contribution.

The Scotland international said: "I played centre-forward at the weekend but obviously a friendly is different than Europe.

"We knew Griff was back and if we needed a goal he was there," he added.

Celtic will face either Qarabag, Astana, Rijeka, Slavia Prague or Hapoel Beer-Sheva in the play-off.

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