Hughes can old his own
this game, we knew that we all wanted to be in Europe after Christmas and we more or less knew we had to beat Leipzig to give us a chance. “We have a hard couple of games coming up but we’ve given ourselves a fighting chance and we’ll take confidence f rom the result and performance against Leipzig.
“Everyone knows they are a good team, they have some really good players.
“When you play in Europe, you might be playing against teams or players that you’ve never heard of before but it’s always difficult.
“Leipzig were a good team but all of the boys put in a real shift and that’s what you need to do in Europe.”
Despite a three-week window until
the trip to Trondheim, and another fortnight after that before Salzburg come calling for the final group game, Celtic face a tough schedule which includes the Betfred Cup Final with Aberdeen in a seven-game stretch in 32 days.
Forrest said: “It feels like we’ve got a game every three days just now – but everyone is looking forward to the next game. That’s how you want it to be and everyone is going to strive to keep this run going.
“With Rosenborg, the manager will say that we’ve been there and played them before but every time it has been pretty close. So we’re going to need to go there with confidence from our performance on Thursday and hopefully get a good result.
“After that, even if Salzburg have won the group, we just need to concentrate on ourselves and hope that it’s in our own hands when it comes down to the last game.”
Michael O’Neill believes Aaron Hughes is a golden oldie for him and Hearts boss Craig Levein.
The Tynecastle defender celebrated his 39th birthday this week but there’s no sign of him stopping just yet.
Northern Ireland gaffer O’Neill believes that is good news for him and Levein.
O’Neil l said : “For a manager Aaron is a dream,
“He doesn’t have the huge expectations that he is going to play, he trains well and he is good with the younger players.
“It lets them see how Aaron prepares and what he does which has allowed him to keep going in the game this long.
“I know if I need Aaron to start a game or drop him into a game in any situation he will not let me down.
“He is still capable and Craig Levein is using him in a similar way at Hearts.
“I know Aaron is hugely respected at his club.
“When the big games come around and you need to go to someone to step up he’s never been short despite his age. It’s always great to have Aaron available and ready to play.”
Ahead of Thursday’s Dublin friendly against the Republic of Ireland and a meeting with former Celtic boss Martin O’Neill, the younger O’Neill has talked about playing even more games against the other Home Nations.
O’Neill, who turned down the Scotland job prior to Alex McLeish moving into the hot seat, said: “I think these are great games. I often hear my assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl talk about loving the Home Nations tournament, when they used to play it at the end of the season.
“It’s something we don’t have now but those games all have an edge to them, cer tainly more of an edge than a f r iendl y against another nation from overseas.
“I always enjoy games against the Home Nations, like our friendly against Scotland and obviously Wales in the Euros.
“They’re games I wouldn’t be frightened about playing on a more regular basis.”
NO PAIN NO GAIN Konrad Laimer clatters Forrest as Leipzig crash to defeat at Celtic Park RODGERS HUGHES dream player