“I was delighted to play and start and be back involved,” James Forrest

James Forrest touched on his return to the Scotland squad and is hopeful that he can make Steve Clarke’s final 26-man squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 after starting against Gibraltar yesterday afternoon in the Algarve…

James Forrest of Scotland celebrates at the final whistle after scoring a hattrick against Israel at Hampden on November 20, 2018 . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The goalscoring Celtic winger said: “I have not been in a camp for three years and I am getting a bit older as well, but I have really enjoyed my football for the last couple of months and was delighted to get the call-up and get another game for Scotland. I am just going to enjoy every day that I am here.”

James enjoyed a fine run of form at the end of the season, scoring an important goal for the Celts that helped them take the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen to penalties. He played a key role in Brendan Rodgers’ squad and proved to be a mainstay in the final few weeks.

Touching on the upcoming international competition, Forrest said: “Every Scottish player wants to go and be a part of it and obviously I am the same. Even though you are getting older, you still want to work hard and play for your national team as much as you can.

Ross County v Celtic – James Forrest celebrates scoring  during the Premiership match at Dingwall. Saturday November 4, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

“As a professional player you want to play in the biggest games possible, you want to play in big stadiums against the best players, and I have managed to do that all my career.

“I am going to enjoy the next few days and when the manager makes his decision, I will get on with it.”

The question now is if Clarke has seen enough in the winger to justify keeping him in the final squad to be submitted by midnight on Friday. He is certainly a good option to have, but will the manager see it this way?

James Forrest celebrates after he scores during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and St. Johnstone at Celtic Park on March 16, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Before being named in the provisional squad, he last featured for his country during the 2020 Euros. Despite this, he seems to have slotted right back in.

“After the first day, honestly it felt as though I hadn’t been away. I’ve known loads of the boys for years and it’s a really tight group. It just felt normal and it was good to get back training and playing.

“I have really enjoyed the first few days back in training and meeting up with the boys again and obviously I was delighted to play and start and be back involved.”

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I'm a student journalist and Celtic supporter. I'm delighted to have been recently appointed women's football writer for The Celtic Star, where the coverage of the Celtic FC Women's team has been incredible and unrivalled over the past three seasons.

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