FRASER FORSTER believes Celtic are not under any increased pressure to provide a boost to Scottish football by qualifying for the Champions League.
The Parkhead club have a fantastic chance to help restore the reputation of the game in this country after the actions of their Old Firm rivals ensured headlines all around the world for the wrong reasons.
However, the Hoops goalkeeper – who can't wait to face Finnish champions HJK Helsinki in their third qualifying round tie – is focusing on trying to reach the group stage of the competition for Celtic rather than the rest of the country.
He said: "I don't know so much for Scottish football, just for ourselves we need to try to get into the Champions League and do as well as we can.
"We are a big club and we worked so hard last year and this is the next progression.
"For the lads here and the fans, it would be a great step forward. It's not so much pressure. I think everyone is excited about it. The lads can't wait to get out there and next Wednesday can't come quickly enough."
Neil Lennon's team have failed to inspire in pre-season, winning only one of five games and scoring only twice. But they have a last chance to improve this weekend when they take on Inter Milan at home.
Forster said: "Hopefully it will be a sell-out. The fans have been brilliant since I've been here.
"I think lots of them will come on Saturday and lots will come next Wednesday night. I think they understand the size of the game and will get behind the team and be that 12th man that we might need."
HJK Helsinki are well into their season and their 2-1 victory over KR Reykjavik in Iceland last night put them through 9-1 on aggregate, making a mockery of the cliche that there are no easy games in Europe these days.
Forster said: "We have some brilliant players and there is no reason why we can't compete against Helsinki."