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FORREST’S PLEA TO BOSS

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JAMES FORREST is prepared to play a key role for Celtic as they hope to complete an unprecedented treble treble in the Scottish Cup Final against Hearts at Hampden a week on Saturday.

The 27-year-old winger, who has been named the Scottish Football Writers’ Player of the Year, will line up against Craig Levein’s Tynecastle outfit as the Hoops plan for their ninth successive domestic honour – and the player aims for his 17th medal in a glittering career.

Forrest, who has already played 174 matches for club and country in the last three seasons, will then turn his attention to Scotland and the crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Cyprus are due at the national stadium on June 8 and then the Scots fly to Brussels for the encounter against Roberto Martinez’s high-flying Belgium three days later.

The Hoops raider is determined to play his part in the nation overcoming their dreadful start in the 3-0 nosedive in Lazakhstan and the hard-inspiring 2-0 win over the world’s worst side San Marino a few days later.

The poor performances cost Alex McLeish his international job four weeks ago and the experienced campaigner has urged SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell to hasten the appointment of a successor.

SCOTLAND THE RAVE…James Forrest scores one of his hat-trick against Israel at Hampden this season.

Forrest, speaking to The Scotsman, said: “I think that it will be better for everyone – especially the players – once they get the new manager in. It will settle everyone down and then they can pick their squad for these qualifiers in June.

“Those are important games and we need to be ready for them. I just hope that things go well with Celtic
and then I’ll be ready to report because I want to play for Scotland as often as possible.

“Last year had been my best season to date from a personal point of view, but I think this one has gone even better for me because I’ve really kicked on in the international games, as well.

“It’s been an exciting time and, even though this campaign isn’t finished yet, I’m already looking forward to the next one.

“The last couple of seasons have been really enjoyable and I believe that you do play your best football when you’re enjoying it. It’s been unbelievable and you don’t really want it to stop; you want to keep going.”

Asked to name his personal highlight from this season, Forrest answered: “Maybe it’s still to come.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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