Life at his club couldn’t be much better for James Forrest and now he wants some good times with his country.
The Celtic and Scotland winger has made a brilliant start to the season for the Hoops, culminating in a starring role in last week’s Champions League classic against the mighty Manchester City.
The big games keep on coming for Forrest, who reported for international duty with the Scots squad at Mar Hall yesterday to prepare for the World Cup qualifying games against Lithuania at home on Saturday then Slovakia away on Tuesday.
Forrest is relishing the prospect of the Group F double-header and hopes his excellent form in green and white can continue in dark blue.
He said: “It’s been a great start to the season for me.
“It couldn’t have gone better, to be honest.
“It’s been brilliant since day one.
“Is this the best I’ve played? Definitely.
“At Celtic, we have really kicked on since the last international break.
“Now it’s great to be away with Scotland after such a good start to the domestic campaign.
“You can take that momentum into the international scene.
“All the boys will tell you that if you are feeling confident then you come here with a spring in your step and it can only be good for the national team.”
Forrest is blossoming under the watchful eye of Parkhead gaffer Brendan Rodgers – even ousting Patrick Roberts from the starting line-up – and he is appreciative.
He said: “The manager has been a big influence on me.
“I’m sure a lot of the Celtic boys would say the same.
“He has come in and given us all a lot of confidence.
“I spoke to him when we came back for pre-season and he just told me that he had seen me play before and told me what he expected of me.
“I think he spoke to all the boys and it was clear he wanted us to work hard.
“It turned out to be a really good pre-season and we kept that going into the campaign.
“There are a lot of good players in a lot of positions but when you are at a big club like Celtic there is always going to be competition for places.
“I just need to keep working hard and hopefully I can stay in the team.
“This is just the start. There are a lot of important games coming up for Celtic and Scotland and I’m just excited to be part of them.”
As well as Rodgers’ crucial role in bringing out the best in Forrest, national coach Gordon Strachan has helped the player too.
Forrest added: “He (Strachan) played a big part in helping me during the time when I was struggling at Celtic.
“He spoke to me a lot and had me involved in a lot of squads, even when I maybe wasn’t playing every week at club level.
“It was great for me, joining up with great players the whole time and training with boys who were playing down in England and working with top coaches as well.
“I really appreciated what he did for me and that support is not something I will forget.
“I just want to keep working hard for him and playing well any time he gives me a chance.”
Forrest and his ilk will be expected to open up what could be a tight Lithuanian defence at Hampden on Saturday night.
He added: “We will do our homework on them this week.
“You would expect them to come here and try to sit in and frustrate us.
“It will be up to us to be patient and break them down.
“We will study them but I believe it will be more about how we perform and what we do.
“We know if we play the way we can we can get the result we are looking for.”