Lennon backs Celtic to grow with Forrest

Neil Lennon says James Forrest is irreplaceable after watching him score on his comeback from a seven-week injury layoff against Ross County on Saturday.

The winger scored the fourth in his side's 4-0 win over County after coming on as a second half replacement for Beram Kayal in the 58th minute.

It was Forrest's first appearance for Celtic since the game against Kilmarnock at the end of the October after being ruled out with a hamstring injury.

The Scotland international took just 12 minutes to grab his first goal of the season with a fine individual effort to seal a win that increases lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to five points.

And his manager was clearly delighted to have Forrest back in his side with Celtic facing a tough festive schedule.

"It is a huge bonus. We were able to go to our more natural formation when he comes on," Lennon said.

"You can see Gary Hooper coming alive when James is stretching teams and he came on and got his goal.

"If we lost him for a length of time again it would be devastating for us because of the wonderful talent that he is. He knows if he has any extra niggles or anything like that he has to report straight away. We are going to monitor him very carefully and make sure he is fit and healthy for the games.

"He has worked really hard the last six or seven weeks and you can see it. He is in great shape and great condition so we just need to get him on the pitch now on a regular basis.

"What price could you put on James Forrest? He's the best kid I've ever worked with and one of the best kids I've seen for a long time for his age. It's just the quality and calibre of his play and he makes people get up off their seats."

Striker Gary Hooper netted his 15th goal of the season in the win over Ross County with two headed efforts coming after captain Scott Brown had broken the deadlock in the 46th minute.

The Englishman has wracked up 51 goals for Celtic in three seasons and Lennon was full of praise.

"He has looked the best he's looked in training this week. He looks lean and hungry," Lennon said.

"I fancied him to score but his all round play was top class and again I think he will only get better. He's an intelligent player and there are some things you can't coach."

Hooper is entering the last 18 months of his contract and is attracting interest from top European sides after his performances for Celtic in the Champions League this season.

But his manager is hopeful of tying the striker down to a new contract at the Glasgow club.

"The sound bites I'm getting from Gary is that he's delighted with things and happy to stay," Lennon added.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf
    Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf

    Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has ordered the sustained campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the successive offensives against the armed groups last week. A total of 24 Abu Sayyaf bandits and two soldiers were killed in recent clashes in Sulu last week. The Joint Task Group Sulu has received information that Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron was wounded during one of the encounters but this is …

  • 'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait
    'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait

    Kuwaiti authorities are closely monitoring several relatives of "Jihadi John" who live and work in the Gulf emirate where the Islamic State executioner was born, press reports said on Sunday. A number of relatives of Mohammed Emwazi, named as the militant who has beheaded at least five Western hostages, are working in Kuwait and like him hold British citizenship, Al-Qabas newspaper reported. "Security agencies have taken the necessary measures to monitor them round the clock," the paper said, …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options