Celtic’s James Forrest expects Champions League standard to be ‘really high’
Posted by  badge Boss on Jul 19
The Scotland winger is excited about Celtic’s return to European football’s premier club competition this season (Picture: Kaz Photography/Getty Images)

James Forrest expects the standard of opponent to be ‘really high’ but is excited about Celtic’s return to European football’s premier club competition this season.

The Hoops’ Premiership title win last season and an improved Scottish co-efficient mean Ange Postecoglou’s side enter at the group stage in September.

Celtic will play in the tournament for the first time since 2017-2018 when they were beaten 5-0 at home by Paris Saint-Germain, their heaviest home European defeat, before a 7-1 loss in Paris, while also losing home and away to .

Celtic won one match in the section and the 3-0 victory against Anderlecht in Belgium was enough to take them into the last 32 of the where they were knocked out by Zenit St Petersburg.

Forrest, who signed a three-year-deal the day after the title was clinched last season, is as enthusiastic as ever about Champions League football.

The 31-year-old winger said: ‘If you ask any players who played in the games, obviously, it is not nice sometimes when you have had big deficits in results.

‘But everyone wants to challenge themselves and play in those games and the fans want to see those teams and us playing against them. Everyone will be looking forward to it. The fans will look forward to travelling to the away games.

James Forrest and Celtic are preparing for a return to Champions League football (Picture: Getty)

‘Whoever we get, everyone will be buzzing. Even when we have played in the Europa League in the last couple of years the standard was high.

‘The standard in Europe is going to be really high but everyone will be excited for that challenge. It is going to be class once it comes around.

‘Lots of players haven’t played in the Champions League before.’

The Celtic squad took part in an open training session at Parkhead yesterday with thousands of fans, many of them youngsters, enjoying watching their heroes going through their paces.

Forrest believes Postecoglou’s men are in fine fettle ahead of the season which starts at home to Aberdeen on July 31.

The Scotland winger said: ‘It was amazing the way last season finished but, the way the manager is, he wants everyone at 100 per cent straight away.’

Meanwhile, Aaron Mooy  is set to be reunited with former Australia boss Postecoglou at Parkhead.

The midfielder, 31, who is a free agent, has been offered a one-year deal by Celtic.

However, St Mirren midfielder Dylan Reid, 17, has turned down the chance to join the club following talks with the champions.

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