JAMES FORREST hailed the “unbelievable” feeling of netting a crucial Hampden hat-trick as he attributed his big-game experience as the key to his match-winning form.
The winger took his Scotland tally to five goals in four days to fire Alex McLeish’s side to a 3-2 triumph over Israel and top spot in Nations League Group C1.
The Celtic player was on the bench when Scotland lost in Israel last month but a change in formation allowed him to transfer his club form to the international stage and make it 12 goals in his last 11 matches after following up his double in Albania on Saturday.
“It’s unbelievable. Getting two wins and topping the group, everyone is buzzing and we can look forward now,” he said after three composed finishes guaranteed Scotland a Euro 2020 play-off spot.
“I like playing in big games for club and country. I just want to keep going.
“It helps both club and country with the players I am playing with creating chances. The last couple of games we have created a lot of chances and scoring the goals has been really good.”
Forrest has improved under Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers but his goal flurry is another string to his bow – he had not scored in his first 24 internationals.
“Since the manager has come in at Celtic every season I have kicked on and this season is the same,” he said.
“We play big games every few days and that helps. You can’t rest on what you have been doing, you need to keep going. We have a lot of boys in the squad for club and country and you need to work hard to stay in the team and it drives you on.”
While others dropped out of the squad, Forrest fought to win his place in the team after being left on the bench against Albania at Hampden and restricted to a substitute’s role in Israel.
“You see it at club level and international football, the manager will try different formations and personnel, and you just need to keep working hard and take your chance when you get it,” he said.
“I’ve been delighted to contribute in the last couple of games and I just need to keep working hard at club level to stay on the international scene.”