Celtic 3 Kilmarnock 1
Brendan Rodgers’ new deal as Celtic boss has kept the feel-good factor going at Parkhead, according to James Forrest.
The Carnlough man arrived in Glasgow on a one-year rolling contract last summer but on Friday, less than a week after clinching the club’s sixth successive Ladbrokes Premiership title, he signed a new deal which keeps him at Parkhead until 2021.
He watched his Hoops side extend their unbeaten domestic run since the start of the season to 39 games with a comfortable 3-1 home win over Kilmarnock on Saturday.
Rodgers and his players took the acclaim of the supporters after the game and he symbolically raised both hands as they chanted for a record-breaking 10 in a row, although afterwards he joked that he was simply “stretching his fingers”.
There is, however, no hiding the positivity which surrounds Celtic Park these days as the team remain on course for the domestic treble.
Forrest, who scored with a header for the first time in his career to make it 3-1, believes the decision by the former Swansea and Liverpool boss to commit to the club for four more years has given everyone a boost.
The 25-year-old wide player said: “We just heard on Friday about the manager’s new contract and all the boys are delighted.
“He didn’t tell us, we only heard as we left training. But all the boys are happy and so are the staff.
“A few of us have signed a new deal this season so for him to sign up for the same length of time, it just continues the buzz about the place right now.
“We don’t want to stop now, we want to keep going.
“It’s exciting what we can achieve under him, now that he’s committed long-term.
“Since he came in, it’s been perfect up until now. But he’s always working on us, he doesn’t want to stop. That’s great for the players and the fans.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with him and hopefully we can continue it for years to come.”
Forrest pounced in the 76th minute when substitute Moussa Dembele’s shot deflected off the post.
Killie’s Jordan Jones had earlier levelled Stuart Armstrong’s first half opener, just minutes before Scott Sinclair restored the home side’s lead.
Celtic moved to 90 points but with Partick Thistle beating Motherwell 1-0 at Firhill, Kilmarnock lost out on a top-six finish.
Interim boss Lee McCulloch had no complaints about the result and said: “It was a great experience for the young boys that are playing weekly, to be playing in front of such a big crowd and against such good players.”