Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Forster Is Hoops' Man on the Spot

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Forster Is Hoops' Man on the Spot

Article excerpt

Celtic 1 Motherwell 0 CELTIC defender Kelvin Wilson admits his side had goalkeeper Fraser Forster to thank for helping secure a 1-0 win at home to Motherwell.

Gary Hooper scored a 79th-minute winner at Parkhead yesterday, but Hexhamborn Forster saved a crucial penalty moments before Celtic forged ahead.

The former Newcastle United keeper made a brilliant save from Tom Hateley's penalty awarded for Wilson's challenge on Jamie Murphy, just before Hooper converted a Georgios Samaras cross.

Wilson gave the England squad member a ribbing but admitted he was relieved to see him make the save.

"All keepers are weird and so he is a bit strange, he's a big kid at heart," he said. "He has got a thing about throwing something then hiding. If something hits you on the back of the head, you know that it's him.

"But it was a relief and when Hooper scored it made it a perfect ending. It was a little bit of tiredness. It was a stonewall penalty but Fraser made a great save.

"I just said well done to him afterwards and he just shook his head as if to say 'that's another one'.

"He is probably the best keeper I have played in front of. I don't know Joe Hart personally but watching him on television he is one of the best keepers in the world, if not the best.

"And so Fraser is up there as a brilliant number two. He is that good that you would back him against anyone.

"He is only 24, that's young for a keeper, so he has a long career ahead of him."

Celtic coach Garry Parker praised fellow Englishmen Forster and Hooper. He said: "It was obviously a penalty but it was a great save from Fraser and that is why he is in the England squad.

"He is a great keeper and he has proved that, and Gary Hooper scores goals and his general play is good.

"They are good, very special players who are important to us."

Meanwhile, Wilson is hoping to be let off the hook when he appears at Hampden today to answer a violent conduct charge following Celtic's game against Dundee at Dens Park last week.

The 27-year-old was issued with a notice of complaint by the Scottish Football Association's compliance officer, Vincent Lunny, for allegedly using an elbow on John Baird, who afterwards said: "It was an elbow, but I have to stress I think it was accidental. …

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