Celtic's James Forrest confident they will handle the pressure of title chase

James Forrest turns away to celebrate his opener for Celtic

Celtic winger James Forrest believes they have the character to regain top spot after falling behind rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.

A shock 2-0 loss to Hibernian left them in third place behind Rangers and Kilmarnock who both picked up wins at the weekend.

At the midway stage last season Celtic were five points clear of second and nine clear of Rangers.

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They do however have at least one game in hand over the teams above them, and Forrest believes it's well within their means to close the gap.

"We have done it before," he said. "It shows a different mentality - when you are top of the league, that you can stay there, and if you go a few points behind, you can get back.

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Brendan Rodgers congratulated his Celtic players on qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League, despite a home defeat to RB Salzburg.

"We have shown a lot of character before and we are definitely going to need to show that again.

"First and foremost we focus on ourselves. We go into every game being confident about ourselves. We know the ability we have got in our squad and we need to make sure we keep showing that and obviously show that more in the games to come."

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Celtic have lost three games this year, only one less than the whole of last year, and Forrest admits things are a lot closer than their unbeaten season.

James Forrest of Celtic vies with Ryan Jack of Rangers during the Scottish Premier League between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park Stadium on September 2, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland
Image: Celtic are a point behind Rangers in the Scottish Premiership

"Even last year compared to the manager's first year, the league improved," the Scottish winger said.

"You can obviously see with the league table, it's improved again. Everyone is strengthening their squad and making it hard.

"We are going to really need to be at our best in the next few games to try and get to the top of the table.

"It's not nice losing, and the way we conceded the goals on Sunday, it's good that we have a game coming so quickly that we can get back to winning ways."

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