Forrest to stay on at Celtic

PA Sport
James Forrest
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James Forrest

James Forrest has vowed to stay at Celtic and try to help the Parkhead club qualify for the Champions League next season.

The Hoops winger picked up the PFA Scotland young player of the year award on Sunday night at the annual dinner in Glasgow, as his peers recognised the form which has attracted attention from south of the border.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp confirmed in January he was looking at the Scotland winger but the 20-year-old has no intention of leaving Celtic Park just yet, and indeed he believes the lure of European football's elite club competition will help Neil Lennon keep his championship-winning squad intact.

"It is good that teams are watching me," Forrest told Press Association Sport. "It means I'm doing well, but I'm happy at Celtic and I want to get Celtic into the Champions League.

"I don't think anybody will want to leave, we know there is a couple of qualifiers and we could be in the Champions League so we are going to give it our all.

"It is a young team and the experience we got from the Europa League this season will definitely help us. It was my first European campaign and I managed to play in every game and that's what you want to do, play in big games and test yourself. I think we gave a good account of ourselves.

"It is a different type of game but I think we could easily have went through (from the group) this year but it wasn't to be and hopefully, as I said, it gives us experience for next season."

Despite picking up his first Clydesdale Bank Premier League winners medal this season, Forrest's campaign ended after picking up an ankle injury in the Scottish Communities League Cup final defeat by Kilmarnock at Hampden on March 18.

"It has been frustrating," he said. "Obviously I was having a good season, the club were going well, on the way to winning the league, we were in the cup final and in the semis (of the William Hill Scottish Cup) and it ended quite bad for me so hopefully I can rectify it next season.

"All I am doing is focusing on getting back for pre-season training."

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