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Football: Shilton urges England hopeful Forster to leave Scotland

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Peter Shilton has told Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster he must quit Scottish champions Celtic and play in the Premier League if he wants to have an England career.

The 25-year-old Forster has impressed for the Glasgow giants, notably while on Champions League duty against Barcelona, and recently broke a 92-year-old Celtic record when he went 11 successive games without conceding a goal.

But Celtic are currently a huge 21 points in front at the top of the Scottish Premier League, with arch-rivals Rangers banished from the top flight for financial irregularities.

And England goalkeeping great Shilton said Forster was getting so little work to do on a weekly basis it was damaging his chances of making it into England's World Cup squad and adding to the lone international cap he won during a 2-0 friendly defeat by Chile in November.

"I don't want to knock Scottish football, but at the same time, there is no doubt that if Fraser Forster was playing for a Premier League club week in week out and getting tested he would be in a better position than just standing between the sticks for Celtic and having very little to do every week," Shilton said Monday.

"As a goalkeeper, you always need to be tested and he isn't being tested at Celtic now that they are out of the Champions League," added Shilton, England's record cap holder with 125 appearances.

But Shilton, an ambassador for the Budweiser Open Trials campaign, which will give amateur footballers a chance to play at Wembley in front of professional scouts, was impressed by the way Forster performed against Chile.

"He didn't look out of place during that game. He is a big lad and I like his attitude. He went down a bit early for the second goal.

"You could see he was really disappointed and I like that sort of attitude."

It appears that, with Joe Hart restored to Manchester City's line-up and Ben Foster fit following a foot injury, Forster and Norwich's John Ruddy are contesting the third goalkeeper's position in England manager Roy Hodgson's squad for the World Cup finals in Brazil, which start in June.

Shilton said he hoped Forster would get another chance to stake his claim in one of England's four remaining pre-World Cup friendlies.

"I think Forster may get another half in the next couple of games as Roy will probably experiment.

"The goalkeeper position is vital because anything could happen at a World Cup and your number three could get a chance," Shilton added.

"It doesn't have to be an injury, it could be illness."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140210/football-shilton-urges-england-hopeful-forster-leave-scotland