James Forrest is determined to continue chipping in with goals for Celtic after scoring in the Scottish top flight for a 15th consecutive season.
The 32-year-old winger first netted on his Hoops debut against Motherwell near the end of the 2009/10 campaign, shortly after Neil Lennon had taken over from Tony Mowbray.
Having kept up his run of scoring through each campaign under Lennon, Ronny Deila, the first spell of Brendan Rodgers, the second stint of Lennon and Ange Postecoglou, Forrest headed in his first goal of Rodgers’ second spell in charge to seal Saturday’s 3-0 win over 10-man Ross County in Dingwall.
“I think it’s only my fourth header but maybe one of the easier ones,” he said. “I’ve had a few chances lately and not managed to take them, so I didn’t think it was easy when it was coming across.
“It’s amazing to reach another milestone. I think you appreciate these things even more when you get older. Still playing here and trying to contributing is what I have got to keep doing.
“I’d like to keep it going. It’s hard to look too far in advance when the club has such a strong squad and is always signing good players every season.
“I still really enjoy it and getting milestones like this make it all worthwhile. Hopefully there’s more to come.”
One-club man Forrest has found playing time harder to come by for Celtic in recent seasons but he remains contracted to his boyhood team until 2025. He is comfortable with his role as a more peripheral player within the squad.
“It’s been this way since I came through,” he said of the competition to get in the team. “Every year we are signing attackers, so it’s no different now.
“Obviously I’m getting older but the manager came in and I had a good pre-season.
“I want to contribute when I get the chance. A few of the other lads have come in recently and taken their chances when the manager’s rotated it, so that’s good.”
Celtic’s victory, which also included goals from David Turnbull and Luis Palma, extended their lead at the top of the cinch Premiership to eight points, albeit having played a game more than nearest challengers Rangers.
The Hoops’ next match is away to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday as they bid to add to their solitary point so far and keep alive their fading hopes of progressing in Europe beyond Christmas.
“It will be difficult but the boys can take confidence from the home game (a 2-2 draw with Atletico),” said Forrest. “We went toe to toe with them. It will be a tough game but we can take confidence from some good performances this season.”
Ross County boss Malky Mackay was heartened that his side did not capitulate and suffer an embarrassing loss after having James Brown sent off just eight minutes in.
The 10-man Staggies held firm until first-half stoppage time and then managed to keep their deficit at 1-0 until the 78th minute.
“Going down to 10 men against Celtic, it becomes dangerous because you can be hurt just through naturally the way the game can go – nothing to do with our players, just through the fact tiredness kicks in and they’re playing like the Red Arrows in terms of their movement.
“Near the end of the game, three or four can become six or seven and teams have fallen to that. You saw it a couple of years ago with Dundee United at 9-0. That can really damage clubs and managers.
“If they’re playing well and you have 10 and your tactics are wrong and you’re not playing well, it can be eight or nine so the fact we were structured, organised, tough, resilient and didn’t let it get to that will stand us in good stead. It’s not Celtic and Rangers my fight is against.”
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