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‘BRING ON ENGLAND,’ FORREST

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JAMES FORREST will be on a World Cup revenge mission when England arrive at Hampden on Saturday, June 10.

The Celtic winger played at Wembley in November as Gareth Southgate’s men triumphed 3-0 on a painful evening for Gordon Strachan’s side.

Forrest believes the Scots can obliterate that Black Friday memory and reverse the Group F result.

He said: “Definitely, especially because of the way we played in England.

“I think they had three headed goals from three crosses.

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“I believe we played well, although, of course, the result didn’t show that.

“It’s good we got the three points against Slovenia which means we can look forward to the England game. It sets us up perfectly.”

Forrest also paid tribute to Gordon Strachan who had been under pressure from all quarters after such a disappointing start to the campaign to reach Russia next summer.

He added: “All the players have been putting in at training all week and we all want to play for the manager.

“I think we showed that on this occasion. All the boys were delighted that we got the three points.

“The gaffer said before the game we didn’t need to win the game in the first 10 minutes or first-half or first 60, but we didn’t want to leave it that late!

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“We are delighted. We put in a good shift, we could have scored a few early doors, but it was good we stuck in to get the three points in the end.

“It just shows you the courage from all the lads that even when it’s not going our way sometimes we keep going.

“It was positive of the gaffer to put two strikers on and keeping it going. We are all glad it paid off.”

Forrest also had a word for team-mate Leigh Griffiths who is still awaiting his first Scotland strike after 12 appearances.

The Hoops striker hit the bar and post in quickfire moments before having to go off early in the second-half following a knee in the back from Slovenian keeper Jan Oblak near the end of the opening 45 minutes.

Forrest added: “All the lads were creating chances for him. Griff normally puts them away, but that happens in football.

“If he’d stayed on, maybe he would have scored.

“However, we are all delighted with his performance and the rest of the boys.

“I think all the lads who played, including Griff in the first-half, made us look dangerous.

“Everyone misses chances. It happens, so it was good Chris Martin came on to give us the three points.”

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THREE SUGGESTED TRANSFER TARGETS FOR BRENDAN RODGERS THIS SUMMER

It has been a great season so far for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic. Those hoping that The Rangers would come up and challenge Celtic’s dominance have been left extremely disappointed. It just never happened; in fact, they haven’t even properly challenged Aberdeen for second spot. They are currently eight points behind The Dons in third position.

A sixth Scottish Premiership title in a row is now a formality, it can be secured this Friday without Celtic even kicking a ball. If Aberdeen lose at Dens Park then Celtic are the Champions!

But knowing Brendan Rodgers we know that he won’t sit on his laurels ahead of next season. He will want to improve the squad further, particularly with Europe in mind. To do this Celtic must invest. With that in mind here are three potential candidates who could do a job at Celtic next season.

Fabian Delph

The England international has failed to break into the Manchester City starting line-up since joining the club in 2015, recording just five Premier League appearances this season. On his day, Delph is a fantastic talent and he is still just 27 years old. Pep Guardiola would almost certainly allow Delph to leave if Celtic put in an official bid for him; in that sense, a move is plausible.

One thing that may hinder Celtic’s chances of signing Delph is his extortionate wage. If he is willing to take a pay cut, Rodgers may consider moving for the City man. The Celtic boss has experience of facing Delph during his stint at Liverpool and he will know exactly what Delph is capable of when fully fit and given an opportunity.

Jay Rodriguez

Another decent possibility. According to reports, Rodgers wanted to sign the Southampton forward for Liverpool but a deal failed to materialise. At Celtic, it could happen – particularly if Claude Puel opts to roll with Shane Long for the rest of the campaign. Rodriguez has failed to hold down a regular spot in the first team since returning from a long term injury and a move could be on the cards.

Nowadays, you can bet on transfer activity and plenty of punters will be backing Rodriguez to leave St Mary’s this summer. Those who follow Bookmaker Ratings’ online competitions may consider tipping the Saints man to join Celtic before the summer window is up; a move to the Scottish Premiership would make sense…

Jordan Pickford

With Dorus de Vries failing to impress since arriving from Nottingham Forest, Jordan Pickford could be an intelligent replacement. The Sunderland shot stopper has been in fantastic form this season and many have tipped him to replace Joe Hart as England’s number one shortly after the 2018 World Cup. Without his important saves, Sunderland’s position would be even more precarious than it already is.

And with the Black Cats potentially facing demotion to the second tier of English football, Pickford would almost certainly agree to a move away from the Stadium of Light. Celtic are competing in the Champions League next year and the bright lights of Parkhead sound much more appealing than away days at Burton Albion and Preston North End!

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