Celtic seek title tonic after cup woes
Celtic keeper Fraser Forster says securing another Scottish Premiership title will make up for his side's lack of success in cup competitions this season.
The Glasgow giants are 24 points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the table with just nine games left as they close in on their third successive championship.
Celtic, who host St Mirren on Saturday, are just seven points away from three-in-a-row and can wrap up the title at Partick Thistle on Wednesday if results go their way.
However, the Hoops have suffered disappointment in both domestic cup competitions this term as they were knocked out by Morton at the first hurdle in the League Cup before the Dons claimed their scalp in the Scottish Cup.
Neil Lennon's side were also dumped out of Europe following a poor Champions League campaign that saw the Parkhead club finish bottom of their group with just one win.
But Forster says finishing the season with a solitary trophy will still be a success as it provides a place in the Champions League qualifiers.
"It has been a bit disappointing in the cups but I feel we have shown in the league how well we can play and how consistent we can be," the England international said.
"The league is the competition where you play most games and fundamentally it gets you into the Champions League. You do work hard for it.
"It's what you come back in early in pre-season for. It justifies all the work you do throughout the season, if you go on and win the league. It's always something special and it will be good if it comes along.
"It's something the lads have been focused on since the start of the season. We've just been chipping away at it and we're getting near so it's important we continue to pick up results and perform in a good manner as well."
Forster says the desire to wrap up the title quickly means there is no way the Celtic players will be taking their foot off the gas in the coming weeks.
"The next few weeks are vital for us. If we keep winning our matches then collectively it will all add up," the English keeper said.
"I won a league before I came to Celtic and since coming here we've won a trophy every year.
"It's obviously nice to win things and it's a good pressure to have on you when you're expected to win every game."
Elsewhere, on Saturday second place Aberdeen take on Kilmarnock at Pittodrie, Inverness Caledonian Thistle will attempt to get over their League Cup final disappointment when they face Partick Thistle, Motherwell host Ross County at Fir Park and St Johnstone welcome Hibernian to McDiarmid Park.
Fixtures (1400GMT unless otherwise stated)
Hearts v Dundee Utd (1845)
Aberdeen v Kilmarnock, Celtic v St Mirren, Inverness CT v Partick Thistle, Motherwell v Ross County, St Johnstone v Hibernian
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