Fraser Forster says pressure on Celtic after Ajax flop

CELTIC goalkeeper Fraser Forster admits the SPL champions will be under pressure to perform as their pre-season campaign arrives at Parkhead.

Celtic host Norwich City tonight after an indifferent run of performances in Germany and the Netherlands.

Neil Lennon’s men have failed to score in three of their four friendlies, with a 4-0 defeat by Ajax on Saturday proving a concern ahead of next week’s first Champions League qualifier, which will almost certainly come against HJK Helsinki.

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Celtic lost 2-0 to Norwich at Carrow Road in May in a testimonial for Adam Drury and Forster knows his former club will provide a stiff test.

“It will be a good game for us to play in and it will be a good test,” he said. “We want to hit the ground running at Celtic Park, but Norwich had a fantastic season last year and they will want to recreate that.

“It will be important we turn up and play because it will be a tough game.

“We saw that in the testimonial. Even though it was only a friendly, they’ve still got some very good players.

“I’m sure Chris Hughton will have got them all going and it’s important for them to start the season well.

“I think there will be a bit of pressure on us playing at home too, so we will have to go out and play well.”

Hughton took the manager’s job at Norwich in the summer following Paul Lambert’s switch to Premier League rivals Aston Villa and Celtic forward Kris Commons knows the English side will be coming to Celtic Park this evening on a mission to prepare for what lies ahead under their new management, and believes the hosts will have to be on their toes.

“It was good to play Premiership opposition and Norwich proved they are no easy pushover in the top division,” said Commons, who featured in Drury’s testimonial.

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“It will be another good test for us and another good indication as to where we are in terms of preparation.

“We have a lot of big games coming up and this is definitely one of the big ones. People will earmark Inter Milan and Real Madrid but Norwich is another massive one.

“I’m not going to look at any and say one is going to be harder than another. They will all be big tests for us.”