Celtic winger James Forrest says he is in the form of his life, after a scintillating display against Bayern Munich for his club and starring against The Netherlands for his country.

Forrest reckons that he is playing even better this season than he was during Celtic’s treble-winning campaign last time around.

And he credits the fact he is getting to test himself against the highest calibre of player for Celtic and for Scotland as the key reason behind his continued improvement over the last 18 months.

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“Last season was definitely a special season,” said Forrest. “It was one of my best and more enjoyable.

“I think I have kicked on and I am doing even better this season. We are not even halfway through this season and I just want to keep improving.

“The more big games I play it will help because it means I will only get better.

“You want to play against the best and in big games. It is good I get that opportunity with both Celtic and Scotland.

“At Celtic we still have another couple of Champions League games to go, while March is obviously the next big game for Scotland on the international calendar.”

Forrest also believes that competition for places has been vital to keep him on his toes, and he certainly has got that at Celtic, where he vies with Manchester City loan star Patrick Roberts for a starting berth on the right wing.

It may have been expected that Forrest would again take a back seat after Roberts’ return to the club, but he is desperate to hang on to that starting jersey.

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“He came back but he also came in at a time when I was feeling good,” he said.

“It is more competition for places and it drives people. It is also good for Celtic with the amount of games we have to play and it is also good to have that competition within the squad.

“If you ask everyone they want to play – that is everyone’s attitude because we all want to make sure we are available for every game.

“You always need to be at it in training and to be working hard to give your best chance to play in the games.

“Even when you go away with Scotland it is the same – not just at Celtic. When you go away there are 27 players and there are maybe four, five or six players who can play in your position.

“It is the same at Celtic because we have two or three international players for every position.

“It keeps you motivated because you know if you don’t kick on or you’re not at it then there will be another player to come in.”

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Forrest admits that it was something of a relief to have a few days off after turning out for Scotland after a hectic schedule of late for Celtic, particularly as a similarly punishing program awaits them upon their return to action.

Among their next set of fixtures there is the small matter of a trip to France to take on Paris Saint Germain, as well as the League Cup final against Motherwell at Hampden.

“The boys are delighted with the break,” said Forrest.

“It is the first time we have had that because normally we have a game every two or three games.

“It was good to get that rest but now we are back and it is back into another tough schedule and we want to start by being ready for the Ross County game.

“It is tough both physically and mentally because we are in right from the start in the Champions League qualifiers. We now go back and after Ross County we have a Champions League game and then a cup final.

“They are big games and we know we will need to pick it up and be at it again.

“The manager takes it one game at a time and that won’t change because it is that approach that has brought us the success we have had so far.”