JAMES FORREST insists Celtic can take heart – with the club taking Hart.
The Scotland winger, who scored the third goal in the 4-2 win over Jablonec last night, believes Joe Hart, the 34-year-old former England international keeper, has already made his presence felt at the club.
The 75 times-capped netminder had only one training session with his new team-mates before being plunged in for his debut and Forrest reckons he can feel the difference in the atmosphere already.
The 30-year-old forward, who set up the Hoops’ fourth goal for Ryan Christie with a neat right-wing cross, is also excited about the arrival of Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy who agreed a four-year deal on Tuesday, the same day Hart penned a three-year contract.
The former Wigan, Everton and Crystal Palace enforcer missed the trip to the Czech Republic to remain in Glasgow to continue to work on his fitness levels, but Forrest has no doubt boss Ange Postecoglou has landed two extremely capable newcomers.
ON A WING AND A SLAYER…James Forrest pounces to fire in Celtic’s third goal.
He said: “I think they are great signings by the club and they’ll definitely help the changing room. It’s exciting players of that quality and experience are coming in.
“It’s natural to take time with a new manager with different ideas. There are a lot of quality players at the club and a lot of the young boys have done well.
“But you just feel a difference with these two signings straight away. That’s not putting pressure on them because they’ve dealt with pressure all their careers.
“It’s just a massive boost. It’s really good for the senior lads. I think they’ll push us on. You look at their experience. We’ve got a lot of young, quality players, but sometimes you need that experience.
“You could see it right from Joe from that first training session. You could hear him straight away, he was talking his way through the whole session. He’s a presence in the dressing room and you need that to bring out everyone in the team.
“We’ve not met McCarthy yet, but we’ve all seen the experience he’s got from playing in England and for Ireland. He’ll be a great addition to the squad.”
JOY BHOY…James Forrest celebrates his first goal of the season.
Reflecting on the victory in the first leg of the Europa League qualier, Forrest, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It’s a positive result as we’d not won in the previous three competitive games.
“It’s good to get that win, score a few goals and feel good about ourselves again. It gives us a good lead going in to next week and, hopefully, we can build on it. I don’t think the confidence has been down, we know football can change quickly.
“We were 1-0 up against Midtjylland and had chances to score more. It was the same in the Hearts game, as well.
“At times like this it’s important for the players and staff to stick together and then push on from a result like this.
“We needed that result to settle everyone, 100 per cent. We conceded a couple of goals and they had a couple more chances.
“But it was just important to stop the mini rut we were in having not won. It was important to get the first one and the performances will gradually get better.”