James Forrest takes key Celtic experience to Scotland as Steve Clarke told 'I would play anywhere'

James Forrest insists he’ll play anywhere to help Scotland at the Euros.

The Celtic star is back in Steve Clarke’s plans for the showpiece after a three-year absence spanning back to the last staging of the tournament. Forrest’s red-hot winger form at club level secured his recall. But the 32-year-old has no qualms about filling any role for his country. With injuries ruling Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson out of the showpiece, Clarke will eye all options as he hunts results in Germany.

Forrest has been touted as a potential replacement for the crocked duo at right-wing back. When that prospect was put to him, he said: “I think any player in this team would play anywhere for their country. That’s the way we’ve been getting joy. I don’t understand why they would change the system and, if I get asked to play anywhere, I’d be more than happy. The manager here [Celtic] in his first spell used to play that formation a lot.

“We were maybe dominating the ball more, so it’s maybe a little bit different than with Scotland. We were maybe attacking a bit more than with the national team. I know the system Scotland has been playing. They’ve had a couple of injuries, but have had a tight group right through doing well in qualifying. When you’re getting older as well, it does become harder.

“I’m delighted to be back involved and I’m just going to enjoy every day. To be honest, I’ve always just wanted to focus on Celtic. I’ve always thought if I was doing well, I’d get a chance again.”

Forrest could face Germany in the Euros opener to cap a brilliant end to the season and continued: “It would be incredible. The last couple of months couldn’t have gone any better, to be honest. I’m buzzing to meet up with the camp. There’s the couple of friendlies first and, if I can help the team and contribute, then I’ll be delighted to do that.”

Forrest admits the belief shown in him by Clarke and Brendan Rodgers means a lot as he stated: “It does. Celtic and Scotland are both bringing through young players and it’s good to have experienced players and older players in the squad as well. I think we’ve got a good balance with that.”

Forrest has had to cancel plans to attend a wedding to extend his marriage with Scotland after Clarke made his squad announcement. He smiled: “I did! Just because it was a late call, but I was more than happy to. It was an easy decision. It was meant to be this week.

“It was a boy in the team’s wedding, but we’ll just get our holidays at the end of the Euros, anyway. We were actually training and when I came into the changing room a few of the boys were shaking a few of the Scotland boys’ hands.

“It had literally just been announced. I didn’t have a clue! I saw that Steve Clarke in an interview said he didn’t call Ben Doak, either.

“He likes the excitement that way and it was a great boost for me, especially going into the Scottish Cup final. Off the back of the last couple of months, to get in the Scotland squad is great for me.”