Stopper Forster out to impress Hodgson

PA Sport
Fraser Forster believes Champions League football will boost his England aspirations
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Fraser Forster believes Champions League football will boost his England aspirations

Fraser Forster is hoping exposure on the Champions League stage this season can help him catch the eye of England manager Roy Hodgson.

The Celtic goalkeeper has gained European experience and played in several Old Firm games during his time in Glasgow, but watched from afar in midweek as Jack Butland, 19, and John Ruddy were both given 45-minute debuts in England's 2-1 friendly win over Italy in Berne.

The Scottish champions play Helsingborg in the Champions League play-offs, with the first leg in Sweden on Tuesday. Forster, 24, is hoping an appearance in the high-profile and lucrative group stages can help his international aspirations. He said: "It's not my decision at the end of the day. But it is one of my ambitions, I have stated it clearly before."

He added: "All I can do is play well for Celtic and keep knocking at the door. There could be any reason (not being picked) but it can only help me if we get into the Champions League, that can only benefit me and progress me as a player."

Neil Lennon believes playing in Scotland is costing Forster his chance of international honours but he too is looking for the Champions League to push his keeper into the England set-up.

"I am frustrated for him," said the Celtic manager.

"I think he is developing into a top-class goalkeeper. I don't think England have a plethora of goalkeepers to choose from and I do feel he is good enough to make the England squad and he has proven that in the last couple of years.

"He has played in huge games and showed he had the character and qualities to play in those games.

"We have to keep him going. Obviously we have a big couple of weeks coming up and if we can get through to the Champions League group stages then it will give him a great platform to hopefully make that breakthrough."

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