James Forrest keen to add to nine successive Celtic league titles


James Forrest is not content to sit back and reflect on emulating Bobby Lennox, Billy McNeill and Jimmy Johnstone as Celtic’s nine-in-a-row heroes.

Forrest and skipper Scott Brown this week joined the three Lisbon Lions in winning nine consecutive titles with the club.

But the winger is immediately thinking about setting a new Scottish record of 10 successive triumphs and at the age of 28 he has plenty of scope to add to his 19 major honours.

Forrest told Celtic’s website: “To win nine-in-a-row, to play in all seasons and to be in the same company as the likes of Broony, Bobby Lennox, Billy McNeill and Jimmy Johnstone, that’s why you want to play, and keep playing, at a club like Celtic.

“Once you finish, you’ll look back on it fondly, but when it’s still going just now, you want to keep working as hard as you can to keep adding to that and being in amongst it.

“It’s been a crazy journey, there have been so many memories, cups, league titles, games in the Champions League, there have been so many highs. When you win stuff, once you get a taste of it, you want more. What the club has done in the last 10 years is amazing and it’s great to be a part of it.

“Now that the league’s been called, we’re desperate to start preparing for next season. Once we are able to start back, the boys will be raring to go.

“Every year with Celtic there is always pressure right from the start of the season. We’re always expected to be challenging for the title and the cups. For us, next year won’t be any different.”

Forrest was handed his Celtic debut by Neil Lennon, who has continued the run he started and now has the chance to lead his side to the 10th title in a row.

That has long been the target of the supporters, something the manager who sealed the fourth and fifth championships of their run, Ronny Deila, was very aware of.

Ronny Deila led Celtic to their fifth title in a row
Ronny Deila led Celtic to their fifth title in a row (PA)

Deila, now manager of New York City, said: “I’m very proud to have been Celtic manager and also proud to be part of what the club has achieved for nine years.

“It’s a big achievement and I just enjoy watching and seeing the success now. Hopefully, it’ll be one more next year so that we can create a new record.

“At Celtic, you understand it very quickly, that 10-in-a-row was very important. The fans sang about it all the time, and you just felt that it was something very important. Now, it’s nine and it’s going to be very exciting next season.”

The Norwegian added: “You feel that the club is still hungry and wants to achieve more. So far, they’ve done it, and that’s great, and I know the motivation going into next season is going to be unbelievable because of what they can win.”