James Forrest: Celtic can get even better in pursuit of 10th consecutive title
The 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season is set to start in August as part of a new deal with Sky Sports that will include 'virtual season tickets' for top-flight clubs
Last Updated: 21/06/20 5:19pm
Celtic winger James Forrest is confident the added pressure of going for a record 10th consecutive title will drive his team on to even higher standards.
The Hoops have won the last 11 major trophies in Scotland and are in the semi-finals of the 2019-20 Scottish Cup, which is still due to be finished.
The intensity will increase in the coming season as Celtic aim for an unprecedented 10-in-a-row after matching the record first set by Jock Stein's side and then equalled by Rangers in 1997.
And Forrest, who has been involved in all nine title successes, is sure he and his team-mates can handle the demands.
"It's the same as every year at Celtic," the 28-year-old said. "It's obviously massive. Early on you are trying to qualify for the Champions League and you are expected to win leagues and cups again.
"It puts pressure on the boys and it makes everyone play their best football.
"We are raring to go from the start of the season and just try to turn the negatives of the last few months into a positive.
"All the boys know how big a club Celtic is. All the ones that came last year as well, it's maybe after one or two games that they realise how big Celtic is and the pressure every single game you are expected to win in the league, and even in Europe as well you are expected to put in good performances.
"It does push you on as a player. All the staff have been really on it as well.
Forrest also believes the experience of their record-breaking trophy run will stand them in good stead.
"Especially the last couple of years, how successful we have been with winning trebles, it doesn't stop there," he added.
"Every year we are looking to progress and the staff will always be looking to bring in players to help the squad.
"It keeps everyone on their toes, no one feels comfortable or that they are a certain starter. That's good as well. Hopefully we give it another big push."
'Scotland need fans back for Euro clash'
Forrest also hopes fans will be back by the time Scotland host Israel on October 8 in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-finals, which were initially due to take place in late March.
There is hope that limited crowds could return to grounds by autumn and the winger feels the side would hugely benefit from the backing of Scotland fans at the Hampden clash.
"Everyone was really looking forward, it was only two weeks to go before the shutdown came," he said. "Hopefully we have as strong a squad as we can in September and October and we will give it our best shot.
"It's exciting because we've got that game against Israel and hopefully we can get into the final.
"You see the games in other countries with no fans. It's positive that the games are back. If it has to get played without fans, that's what we will do.
"But football is not the same without fans and you can definitely see that.
"With the support we get at Hampden, it would definitely benefit us. Hopefully by the time that game comes along, we would want the fans to be involved."
The 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season is set to start in August as part of a new deal with Sky Sports that will include 'virtual season tickets' for top-flight clubs. Find out more here.