FRASER FORSTER realises there is an ironic twist to the fact that by leaving England he may well have increased his chances of getting back involved with the English national side, but he hopes that his loan move to Celtic from Southampton can have the side benefit of putting him back into manager Gareth Southgate’s thoughts.

The keeper hasn’t been in an England squad since he was an unused substitute against Lithuania in October 2017, and he hasn’t pulled on the gloves for his country since a friendly win over Australia almost three-and-a-half years ago at St Mary’s.

He realised though that sitting on the bench or in those same St Mary’s stands was never going to do his chances of further international recognition any good, which is why he is determined to edge out Craig Gordon and become the automatic pick at Celtic once more.

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When asked if he hopes to pull on the Three Lions again, Forster said: “Hopefully so. First and foremost I’m just concentrating on trying to put in performances here really. The rest is out of my hands. I will try to play as well as I can here and see what happens.

“I’m up here and I want to play every game. It’s up to me to work as hard as I can.

“I spoke to [Craig] before the game the other night and wished him well. He did the same on Sunday. We are experienced players. We understand how hard the position is. We just want the best for the team at the end of the day.

“We understand that it’s a hard situation and any one of us can play, but first and foremost we just want the team to win. That’s the most important thing.”

Forster thoroughly enjoyed shutting Rangers out in his first Old Firm derby since his return north last weekend, though he isn’t being modest when he suggests it had little to do with him.

He admits he didn’t expect to be as much of a spectator during the game at Ibrox, but he credits the Celtic back four with keeping his gloves clean, giving a particular mention to the outstanding Christopher Jullien.

“It was my first clean sheet second time around and probably a pretty good place to keep it,” he said. “It was a fantastic result. All the lads can be proud of their performance.

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“Did I expect it to be so quiet? Maybe not. It was a credit to the back four. At the end of the game, we were playing with four Old Firm debutants. They were fantastic. Christopher Jullien was fantastic in front of me. It was a quiet afternoon for me but that was a credit to the team in front of me.

“[Jullien] is a big guy. I think he headed everything and looked really good. I thought he was brilliant. The whole team did well. Everyone did their jobs. You can make it as hard as you want or as easy as you want, and we were right at it. We did really well.”

As well as the words of praise he showered on the Celtic new boys for their Old Firm performance, Forster also had encouraging words about another who is waiting in the wings, with Mohamed Elyounoussi following him to the club on loan from Southampton.

“It’s a fantastic signing,” he said. “He has been unfortunate probably in the last year but he has done well at the clubs he has had previously.

“So, hopefully he can settle in quickly and hit the ground running.”