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Celtic V Hearts at Celtic Park : Match Preview

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06 Oct 2012 14:01:22

Celtic V Hearts at Celtic Park : Match Preview

Celtic V Hearts - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Forrest: Future bright at Celtic Celtic winger James Forrest declared Neil Lennon's young team would continue to improve together after becoming one of three players to reaffirm their commitment to the club. The 21-year-old signed an improved contract on Friday tying him to Parkhead until December 2016, while Adam Matthews and Charlie Mulgrew both penned new deals that secure their futures until the summer of the same year. The long-term deals show Celtic are keen to build on their first away win in the Champions League group stages, which came against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday. Forrest told Celtic TV: "I had another three years left on my contract but that's me here for another four years now so I'm delighted. "I have been here since I was nine. I have always wanted to play for Celtic and I want to continue playing for Celtic. "Most of the players have been here for the last two seasons now. We are gelling well and I think we are playing really well now. "The squad is pretty young and the more games we play together, I think the better the team will get. "You want to play in the Champions League and Celtic have been in that a lot for the last 10 years so I want to stay at Celtic." Former Cardiff right-back Matthews completed his new contract negotiations within seven days of declaring himself open to an offer after Lennon spoke of his desire to get players tied up. The 20-year-old said: "Last season couldn't have gone much better. We won the league in my first season and I got in team of the year. "I was happy with that and I think this season I have carried the form on and hopefully I can keep it going." Celtic face a double header against Barcelona next in the tournament but Mulgrew is intent on going on a winning run in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League as Hearts prepare to visit Parkhead. "It was a great win for us during the week and we need to continue that in our domestic form," Mulgrew said. "Hearts always give us a difficult game. Hopefully the crowd get behind us and drive us on to get three points because that's important. "We won the last game and it was a big game away to Motherwell to go top of the league. "We want to stay there and we need to continue winning and keep our eye on domestic football." Hearts manager John McGlynn believes there will be no slump in confidence ahead of the trip amid his team's struggle for points at home. Hearts face the champions after a 3-1 home defeat by Kilmarnock left them in the bottom reaches of the table. Hearts have also lost at home to bottom club Dundee and thrown away a two-goal lead against Inverness at Tynecastle. But McGlynn insists Hearts have been unfortunate to drop points at home and their away form has included a 3-0 win over Dundee United and a draw against Liverpool. He said: "We can't disguise the fact that we haven't won some games we should have done but the players are not down in any way. "The players are well up for the challenge, there is no sign of anyone being down at all. "It is frustrating when you're not getting what we feel we deserve from games. "But if we were getting hammered by our opponents and they were getting much more possession and shots on goal, then you would feel we are up against it. "That's not the case, in every game we have been on top and generally our opponents score against the run of play. "Of course it's frustrating." McGlynn has taken over a young squad which lost many experienced players in the summer but the former Raith Rovers boss is generally keen to keep his players' heads up regardless of their age. "You pick your moments in one-to-one situations, to see how they are feeling," he said. "That's man-management. You do that every single day. Psychology is massive. You do that all the time, drip-feed all the time. "It's a big part of football management, how you can get in players' heads. That's very important." McGlynn hopes for the same patience from Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov, who sacked Jim Jefferies three games into last season despite their third-place finish the previous campaign, and failed to offer Paulo Sergio a suitable deal following their William Hill Scottish Cup win. McGlynn said: "I'd like to think that's why they brought me in, because they realised it was not going to be a quick fix with the big financial cutbacks. We'll see."


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