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FORSTER BACKED FOR ENGLAND RETURN

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FRASER FORSTER is being backed to make a dramatic England international comeback.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has already admitted he wants to sign the loan goalkeeper on a permanent contract to cement his return to the big-time.

At the start of the season, the skyscraper shotstopper had slumped to THIRD choice at Southampton behind Angus Gunn and Alex McCarthy and the future looked bleak for the Geordie giant.

However, the ex-Hoops fans’ favourite enjoyed a sensational return to form after arriving on a season-long deal from the south coast club in August.

Forster became a key component in the club’s surge to their ninth successive title and was Man of the Match with a spectacular and defiant display against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side in the Betfred League Cup Final which included a breathtaking penalty save from Alfredo Morelos as he shut out the opponents and Christopher Jullien claimed the only goal.

Former Hoops goalkeeping coach Terry Gennoe, who was at the club for five years during Martin O’Neill’s reign from 2000 to 2005, has watched the progress of the goalie he saw coming through the ranks when both were at Newcastle.

Forster’s form in Glasgow first time around persuaded the Premier League club to shell out £10million in August 2014 after he had won the first of his six international caps while at Parkhead.

The 32-year-old custodian was also back-up to Joe Hart in the squads at the 2014 World Cup and Euro Championships two years later.

After injuries and losing his place at the Saints, Forster has
 been unable to gatecrash Gareth Southgate’s squad.

However, Gennoe has urged the England gaffer not to overlook the keeper and reckons he is being tested in Scotland as much as he would be in the Premier League.

The former goalie guru, speaking to the Sunday Mail, said: “I’m sure Fraser is close now to the kind of form and mentality that got him into the England set-up.

“No disrespect to the Scottish game, but in England, every week, the quality for outfield players is much higher.

“In Scotland, only certain weeks as an outfield player will you come up against that.

“But, as a goalkeeper you still have the same work to do in Scotland. You still need to have the same mental focus and make the right decisions every time.

“So, for Fraser now it’s all about where he feels happiest. If he chooses to stay at Celtic that will be great for him and his career because he feels comfortable.
“I just hope the England set-up don’t turn their back on him if he chooses to stay north of the border.

“You could argue that, as a
 goalkeeper, you’re tested even more in Scotland at Celtic or Rangers. The




concentration levels have to be higher as there’s so much more at stake.

“If you make a mistake at
 the Old Firm, then it’s highlighted and scrutinised.

“You have to be right on song because if you make an error it will be back page news.

“There will be games where a keeper only has to make one vital decision or one big save. It’s not like that at other clubs.”

 
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