Forster proud as punch to set new record

23 February 2014 01:16

Fraser Forster said he was delighted to set a new Scottish top flight record for clean sheets in Celtic's 2-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday.

The English goalkeeper kept a clean sheet for the 13th consecutive game to break Bobby Clark's 43-year-old record that he had set while playing for Aberdeen in 1971.

Forster hasn't conceded a goal in 1,215 minutes of Scottish Premiership action since Niall McGinn scored against him for Aberdeen back in November last year.

The keeper had already broken a 92-year-old club record for clean sheets but revealed he hasn't been paying much attention to his achievements.

"I am delighted. It's obviously been talked about a lot over the last week so it's nice to get there in the end and keep a clean sheet," Forster said.

"It's just something that has been in the background and I've not even really given it much thought. It was just important to keep on working hard and this has been a real bonus.

"Myself and goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods sat down at the start of the season and came up with the goals we were aiming for and obviously this wasn't really one of them. It's just really come out of the blue and it's something we are very proud of as a club.

"We've obviously passed a couple of records along the way and it just seems each week there is a different one to the last.

"I think it is a real credit to us as a team and as a back four it is something we are very proud of and we will try to keep it going as long as we can.

"Everyone has played their part. We attack as a team and we defend as a team and I would say massive credit needs to go to Stevie Woods as well."

The English 'keeper is now closing in on former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar's British record of 1,311 minutes.

Forster, though, said he did not feel any extra pressure on him.

"Not really. I think more and more people are beginning to talk about it and it's not something I've been going into games thinking about.

"He was an absolute fantastic keeper and he played for Man United for years. We all know what Edwin van der Sar is about."

Earlier this month former English goalkeeper Peter Shilton warned Forster he would have to quit Celtic if he had long-term ambitions with the national team.

And the keeper was at a loss as to whether his record-breaking achievements would boost his chances of being on the plane to the World Cup finals in Brazil in the summer.

"It's not really for me to say. The people I speak to are very positive and they understand what it is about," Forster said.

"There are games where you don't have a lot to do but you might have one save that you've got to make. You can just do what you can do and stay switched on.

"You can only do what you can do. It's important I just focus on doing the basics for Celtic week-in week-out. It's someone else's decision at the end of the day whether I go or not.

"All I can do is keep knocking at the door and try and put in the performances here and if it's enough it's enough. If it's not then you keep going and keep believing."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was full of praise for the keeper after the match at Tynecastle in which Leigh Griffiths scored his first goal for the club and Teemu Pukki added a second in stoppage time.

"What a record and he's a fantastic goalkeeper," said Lennon.

"I am very proud as we have broken a 43-year-old record today. It is a fantastic achievement and it was 43 years for a reason because it is a very difficult thing to do.

"It has been a great day for the club."

Source: AFP

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