James Forrest standing tall as Celtic bid to secure double treble
Victory over Motherwell in cup final would complete ‘incredible achievement’ says winger
James Forrest: “You know when you are at Hampden you are in a final or semi-final and that’s where you want to be. We are not getting carried away.” Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
James Forrest stands on the brink of history having shown as much tenacity as talent during his remarkably successful Celtic career.
The winger came through the youth system at Parkhead and his first William Hill Scottish Cup final win was as a teenage substitute against Motherwell in 2011, replacing Kris Commons with nine minutes remaining of the 3-0 win.
Since then Forrest, now 26, has seen off a long list of challengers to his spot, establishing himself at club level and also with Scotland while gathering seven Ladbrokes Premiership titles, three Scottish Cups and three Betfred Cups along the way.
Victory over Motherwell in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on Saturday would secure an unprecedented successive domestic treble and Forrest acknowledged that he has battled hard over the years to be able to keep playing his part.
He said: “When I broke through there was a lot of big players and international players that you were fighting against to play in the team and I don’t think that has ever changed.
“There’s always been a lot of players in my position and you just need to keep working hard and doing as well as you can to stay in the team.
“Every trophy win for Celtic is massive and you just want to win the next one and Saturday is another great chance and we will be looking forward to it. This season has been right up there with the best.
“I really enjoyed last season, with the invincible treble and this season we have kicked on and it has been even better. If we can do it on Saturday that would just top it off. It would be an incredible achievement.”
Forrest, his team-mates and the Celtic faithful also have the confidence of Brendan Rodgers’ Hampden Park record.
The Northern Irishman has won every one of his seven appearances at the national stadium since he took over at Celtic in 2016.
“Since the manager has come in, every time we have played there we have won and that gives us great confidence going into the game on Saturday,” said Forrest. “He has always said that Hampden will suit us, it is a big pitch so go there and play the way we play every other pitch.
“We had a couple of good performances and results and you take that confidence into the next one. You know when you are at Hampden you are in a final or semi-final and that’s where you want to be. We are not getting carried away.
“In a one-off game it can be hard and we need to make sure we turn up with the right attitude and – right from the first minute to the last – make sure we are at it because as teams have shown this season, we can be beaten.
“If we turn up with the right attitude, hopefully we can do it.”