Celtic boss Lennon backs Forster for England

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes his goalkeeper Fraser Forster is destined to win a regular place in the England team, the Guardian has reported, such has been the rapid progression of the former Newcastle stopper.

Lennon’s comments come as England’s usual first choice goalkeeper, Manchester City’s Joe Hart, is benched by his club following a string of costly errors. Forster is a regular among Roy Hodgson’s England squads and usually acts as understudy to Hart, along with Norwich City’s John Ruddy – who conceded seven goals against City in his last appearance.

England play Chile and Germany in friendlies in coming weeks and Lennon feels Forster is in line for an appearance – and that he can be England’s goal keeper for the foreseeable future, despite having been a long way from the national set-up in the not-too-distant past. “Three years ago there is no way you would have envisaged Fraser being in the England squad,” Lennon said.

But he has just improved year in and year out,” the former Northern Ireland midfielder continued. “I have said this to him already. I said, ‘You have just got to stay in the moment now.’ Just keep this form going at this level and I can’t see him not being picked for one of the friendlies coming up.

I have said before I don’t want this to be a short-term thing for him. I want it to be a long-term thing for five, six, seven years of him being England’s No1 or No2.

Forster will be in goal for Celtic against Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday evening with the Bhoys third in Group H, two points behind Milan and four adrift of leaders Barcelona. The Dutch side trail Celtic by two points and Lennon added Forster would need to be on top form against the 1995 winners. “I need him at his best [against Ajax] and he seems to thrive in this environment,” Lennon said.

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