James Forrest admits relief was a major emotion when he netted his first league goal of the season to tie up a rare win for Celtic at Livingston.
The winger fired home Celtic’s third goal with his left foot to make it four goals in all for the season and extend his run of scoring in the top flight to 13 consecutive seasons.
The 30-year-old barely moved or smiled after firing home before then being mobbed by his team-mates.
Forrest had waited a long time for his goal but not as long as Celtic have waited for victory at the Tony Macaroni Arena – their run without a win stretched back six games and 15 years.
When asked what he felt after the goal, Forrest said: “Maybe a bit of relief. It was to make it 3-0 as well so all round, I have not scored in a few games and it helped the team get to 3-0, so it was maybe a bit of relief.
“I can’t even remember now, just relieved and buzzing that I scored.”
When reminded about his record of scoring each season, Forrest said: “Someone said that to me a couple of months ago and I have felt as though I have had lots of chances and just not been able to take them. Sometimes the harder chances go in.
“The manager always says if the forward players keep getting in the right areas then they will get the goals and I was glad I managed to do that.
“I have been feeling good. The manager is not bothered who scores the goals.
“A lot of this season we have spread the goals amongst the squad. That helps, you are not just looking at one or two players to keep scoring the goals, even though a couple have scored more than others.
“If I just keep working hard and getting the chances, they will come sooner or later.”
Forrest admitted there had been a determination to end their poor record in Livingston and restore their three-point lead over Rangers in the cinch Premiership.
“There was talk about us coming here and not being able to win over the years, so I felt we stamped our authority and got a few goals,” he said.
“There’s no hiding away from it – everyone knew, even the new players, that it was going to be tough.
“I think it’s the best we have played here. We scored three and had other chances as well, so I think that is really good for the staff and the players to put in a performance like that.”