Scottish Premier League

Lennon lauds Hodgson's choice

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Fri, 05 Oct 2012 12:30:00

Neil Lennon believes Fraser Forster's call-up to the England squad has vindicated the keeper's decision to stay in Scotland.

The Hoops' number one, who signed a permanent deal for the Scottish champions in the summer after two loan spells at the club, was named in Roy Hodgson's 25-man pool for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland on Thursday.

Parkhead boss Lennon has been a champion of Forster's international ambitions, and those of English striker Gary Hooper.

Ahead of the SPL clash with Hearts at Parkhead on Sunday, he said: "I applaud Roy Hodgson. He must think I am pain in the backside, I am always on his case about Fraser and Gary. It is a wonderful moment for Fraser.

"It is a vindication of bringing players to the club, it is a vindication of Scottish football and it is great for the kid.

"He has worked incredibly hard and I'm sure there were some people in his ear in the summer saying he won't progress if he goes to Scottish football so there is a lot of positives to come out of that (call-up)."

Despite plying his trade in the SPL, Forster will not travel south next week with any sense of an inferiority complex.

"I don't think so," he said. "We have shown what we can do in the Champions League and I will just show what I can do and hopefully that is enough.

"It is a great chance to go and learn and I can't wait."

Following Celtic's 3-2 Champions League win over Spartak Moscow in Russia on Tuesday night, Forster admits it is one of the best weeks of his career.

"It's obviously up there," he said. "We had a great result on Tuesday night and I got a call up as well so I am obviously delighted.

"Everyone here at Celtic have really helped me, I am delighted and everyone is delighted for me."

Forster is confident that Hooper, who scored the opener in Moscow, will soon get England recognition.

He said: "I think Hoops has been in terrific form. He showed that on Tuesday night with what was a fantastic performance.

"He is a quality player and I'm sure it will happen for him."

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