Forster always wanted Celtic return

Fraser Forster has revealed he never thought twice about returning to Celtic despite Newcastle manager Alan Pardew’s scathing assessment of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Pardew appeared to rule out a second season on loan at Celtic for the goalkeeper in May when he described his disappointment at the standard of the SPL, claiming even some Old Firm games had been “poor”.

However, Forster rejoined Celtic last week on another season-long deal and yesterday the 23-year-old brushed aside any concerns his parent club may have over the standard of Scottish football.

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Forster said: “If a club like Celtic comes looking for you, it takes about two seconds to think it through. I had a great year last year, I love all the people at the training ground and the coaches have been brilliant with me from day one.

“For people to go out of their way to try to get you back, it’s just nice to be a part of it again.

“It dragged on a bit over the summer but we got there in the end and I’m just delighted to be back. It feels like I’ve never been away.”

Forster, who went straight back into the team for the goalless Europa League play-off first leg against Sion, added: “We are in Europe and hopefully, if we get through to the group stages, it will be a stepping stone on to other things. It will get the fans delighted again.

“There are so many positives around Celtic, it’s a young squad on the up.”

Celtic travel to Switzerland for tomorrow night’s second leg today with a point to prove after manager Neil Lennon’s angry response to their 1-0 home defeat by St Johnstone on Sunday.

Lennon described his players’ attacking performance as “wasteful, complacent and immature” and Forster has no complaints about his manager’s bluntness.

“The gaffer has been there and done it,” said Forster, who was promoting a King’s Theatre play celebrating the life of Celtic goalkeeper John Thomson, who died from an injury sustained in an Old Firm match in 1931.

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“He has played at this club for years and knows what it’s all about. It’s a case of us learning off him and the other coaches. We can’t afford to lose games at home like that but it’s just important that we make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“It was a poor result but luckily we have a game on Thursday that we can look forward to. Everyone is focused on that.

“Those things happen, it’s part of football. We will get up, dust ourselves off and go again on Tuesday.

“It’s in the past, we can’t change it. We are not particularly worried about that, we have just got to make sure it doesn’t happen again later in the season.”

Forster spent a season on loan at Norwich before moving to Celtic and is looking for some stability after this campaign.

“I have been saying that for a couple of years,” he said. “It’s a loan deal for this year but we’ll see what happens throughout the year and at the end of the season.

“It’s a fantastic club and a massive club, I don’t think anyone would ever turn down playing here.

“I’m just proud to be part of what the gaffer sees as the team going forward and just proud to be wanted by such a big club. I’m just going to work as hard as I can over the next 12 months.”