IT was a shell-shocked James Forrest who attempted to put his frustration into words after Celtic let a promising half-time lead slip in Salzburg, their winless run in the group stages of the Europa League stretching to a 13th match.

Leading by dint of Odsonne Edouard’s second minute opener, the Parkhead side shipped three goals with Forrest himself being dismissed for a ‘last man’ challenge on flying Austrian full back Andreas Ulmer.

While the Celtic winger insisted he initially thought the referee was going to give the award in his favour, he admitted this was another harsh lesson for the club on their continental travels.

Picking up a win on the road, he feels, will be crucial in their efforts to escape a difficult Group B, making it even more frustrating is the fact he will now be suspended for Celtic’s revenge mission against the big brother of this energy drink empire, RB Leipzig, in three weeks’ time.

“I thought at the start he was going to give me a free kick, so you could say it was harsh but I suppose I fell into him,” said Forrest. “It was close but he gave it so quickly he obviously felt he knew the decision.

“But overall, there is a sense of shock and awe as I felt we were competitive and then it’s three quick goals and we’ve lost 3-1. I think that’s harsh. They made the most of their half chances and when they do that they then show what happens at this level. It’s a lesson for us against teams of Salzburg’s level. We know that they are a good side and they showed that by getting to the semi-final of the Europa League last season.”

While Celtic surrendered plenty of possession in that opening period, Forrest struggled to put his finger on what precisely went wrong.“At half-time all the boys were confident, it just got away from us during the second-half,” he added. “Maybe we went on the defensive too much as going on the front foot can sometimes be better. We let things slip a bit and we were punished.

“We are going to get difficult games at home as well but we need to start to nicking points away from home,” he added. “Rosenborg away with be hard as will the trip to Germany but we know we can go there and be positive and get a result. Maybe if we’d scored with one or two of the half chances we created it would make the difference. But we now have two more away games in the group and we need to give our all in them. If we were to get that away win it would be great for everyone and allow us to kick on.”