James Forrest insists Celtic will shake off Ibrox loss

James Forrest is convinced Celtic will bounce back from their defeat in the Old Firm derby. Picture: SNS
James Forrest is convinced Celtic will bounce back from their defeat in the Old Firm derby. Picture: SNS
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James Forrest insisted Celtic can get back on track after defeat by Rangers left them top of the Premiership table only on goal difference over their arch-rivals.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has strengthened his squad for the second half of the season, bringing in West Bromwich Albion and Scotland winger Oliver Burke and Paris Saint-Germain’s young USA international Timothy Weah alongside striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo on a four-year deal.

But Rangers, too, have added to their squad this week having headed to their training camp in Tenerife buoyed by their first win in 13 attempts against Celtic during Rodgers’ reign, with Northern Ireland internationalist Steven Davis returning to the club as veteran striker Jermain Defoe arrived.

Forrest, however, insisted whatever other clubs may do it would have no impact on Celtic as they concentrate solely on themselves.

He said: “I’ve said a couple of times the league is much stronger, there’s a few teams got stronger and you can see how tight it is as well.

“I think once we go back for the second half of the season it is going to be tough but we just have to take it one game at a time and we know we need to maybe do a bit more to make sure we do what we want.

“Other teams are strengthening but we are strengthening ourselves which is a real positive on our part. We now it’s going to be tight but we just have to focus on ourselves.”

And Forrest is confident Rodgers’ players can shake off that setback at Ibrox on 29 December, revealing he and his team-mates were perhaps more disappointed with their performance on the day than the 1-0 defeat.

He said: It was disappointing because we had gone into the game after a good win at Aberdeen. We were confident but there’s no hiding, we didn’t turn up for the game.

“But as I said, Rangers are stronger as well. A couple of boys had maybe not played in that game before, it maybe gives everyone a bit more experience going into the next one and hopefully we can do better.

“Overall the result was probably fair, we weren’t at our best. Not just against Rangers but if you are not at your best against a few teams you are not going to get the result you want. We need to make sure we rectify that going forward.”