Forrest targets win on Flag Day
By: Mark Henderson on 02 Aug, 2012 19:59
THE big kick-off in the SPL is only two days away now and James Forrest is looking forward to Celtic´s season opener against Aberdeen in Paradise.
A huge crowd is expected to see the Scottish champions unfurl the league flag before starting off their league defence against the Dons.
It will be the first time Forrest will have experienced the occasion as a first-team player at the club and he´s determined not to put a dampener on a day of celebration by failing to collect three points.
However, he knows that Craig Brown´s side have made some astute signings over the summer, including former-Celt Niall McGinn, and will provide a tough test
"Obviously we won the league and we will have the fans behind us on Saturday so hopefully we can get them the three points," he said. "Aberdeen will be a good team this season and last year they gave us a hard time any time they played us and it will be the same on Saturday.
"We want to make sure we get the league back again and obviously get in the Champions League, which is important as well."
The winger was involved in Celtic´s first competitive game of the campaign on Wednesday night as the Hoops fought back to beat HJK Helsinki 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg.
After Ramus Schuller put the visitors ahead in Paradise, Gary Hooper levelled matters before Charlie Mulgrew´s header gave the Hoops the one-goal advantage to take to Finland.
And satisfied by how the team fared against opponents in the midst of their domestic season, Forrest is confident that Celtic can earn a positive result in the return leg in Finland.
"It was our first competitive game and the boys can take a lot of positive out of the game," he said. "I thought we played well and we´re just looking forward to next week now.
"It was disappointing to concede the goal but I think we can take a lot of credit for coming back from a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1, so the boys are happy. With the way we played in the first and second half and the chances we created we can take a lot of positives out of the game."
Forrest was outstanding for Celtic last season, a fact underlined by the amount of individual prizes he collected in May. However, an injury in the League Cup final against Kilmarnock ruled him out for the closing weeks of the campaign, which was undoubtedly a source of frustration.
Now fully recovered and feeling fit, Forrest is relishing a return to competitive action and is hoping for another successful season on a personal and collective level.
"Obviously I had a really good season for me and the team," he said, "but the last three months wasn’t the best for me being injured. I´m over that now and just want to get on with the new season.
"I feel back to full fitness. I had a good four weeks of pre-season and played most of the games as well, so I feel good."
Celtic take on Aberdeen at home this Saturday, August 4 (KO: 12.45pm) and tickets for this match are on sale, priced from £29 adults and from £17 concessions. So you can get along to Paradise to see the league flag being unfurled, and then cheer on the Scottish Champions.
Tickets can be purchase ONLINE, by calling 0871 226 1888, option 1, option 2* or by visiting the Celtic Ticket Office.
Tickets are also available in the following Celtic retail outlets: Argyle Street, Sauchiehall Street, Clydebank, Coatbridge, East Kilbride.
*Calls cost up to 10p per minute, telecoms provider dependent. Mobile and other provider charges may vary.