Celtic failed to start their 2019/20 Europa League campaign on a winning note when they drew 1-1 with Rennes in the opening game of Group E. But that has not stopped Fraser Forster from making a huge claim about their chances in the competition.
Fraser Forster left Celtic for Southampton in 2014 in a deal worth a reported £10-million. But his career stagnated at Saint Mary’s Stadium where he regularly found himself on the bench behind Angus Gunn and Alex McCarthy in the pecking order.
Now the English goalkeeper is back at Celtic Park on a season-long loan from the Premier League side. And after a few shaky outings he finally put in a great performance against Kilmarnock, reminding the fans that he is still capable of being the guy who saved 13 shots on target from the mighty Barcelona back in 2012.
And it appears like Forster is very optimistic about his side’s chances in the ongoing Europa League. Celtic are in Group E along with Lazio, Rennes and CFR Cluj, who knocked them out of the UEFA Champions League qualification stage this season with a 4-3 win away at Celtic Park. It is by no means an easy group but the goalkeeper is very positive.
Speaking to BBC about Celtic’s chances of making it past the Group Stage, Forster said:
“There’s nothing to be afraid of. We were very much in the game [against Rennes] and on another day maybe we win that game.
“There’s no reason we can’t be really positive and try to pick up a lot of points. Whether away to Cluj or Lazio or at home, we have nothing to fear.”
It is very clear that the group is wide open judging from the first matchday’s results. Celtic played out a 1-1 draw with Rennes away in France in a game that could have realistically gone to either side. Cluj on the other hand pulled off an upset with a 2-1 win over group favourites, Lazio.
Cluj will be the next team Celtic play in the competition this season when the Romanian Champions visit Parkhead, where they already have a win this season. But Forster is adamant that the Hoops will not be looking for revenge on Thursday:
“On another day, we would have beaten them and gone through to the Champions League.
“It’s been and gone. I don’t think there’s a score to settle. It’s just a case of us going out and knowing what we want to do and the levels we have set.
“If we do that, I’m confident we will get a positive result.”
Forster though was still at Southampton when Celtic suffered the embarrassing 4-3 loss at the hands of Cluj, and his teammates might feel a little differently about the tie.