“I think he’s a certified winner,” Brendan Rodgers on James Forrest

Brendan Rodgers spoke to the assembled media at Lennoxtown this afternoon and was once again offered the chance to speak about a rejuvenated James Forrest.

The Celtic winger has came back into the fold in recent weeks and has shown us just why the Irishman dubbed him the ‘best winger at the club’ a while back, which confused some people.

Cut a peripheral figure

The former Scotland international has cut a peripheral figure this year when it comes to actual meaningful game time up until just recently all of our new recruits have had the chance to take his crown and failed to do so quite considerably.

With no Jota and no Abada this season, Forrest has had to show the way in these closing stages how it’s done in the wide forward areas and hopefully his younger comrades are all watching intently.

A serial winner

A serial winner when it comes to the domestic game, James has been doing it since Neil Lennon was in his first full spell in charge of the football club.

Having lost Aiden McGeady in the summer transfer window of 2010, many wondered how we would cope with having to replace that creativity from the wings. Meanwhile, a young James Forrest stepped into the void and gave us all hope for the future with his undoubted talent and potential.

Now here we are 14 years later and Jamesy is still being relied upon by a man who got the best football out of him during his initial spell a few years back now.

Turn to the old guard

With an inability to rely on some young and aspiring wingers who came in last summer, Rodgers has had to turn to the old guard to help dig us out the last few remaining games.

When directly asked about the influence the 32-year-old has had on this team since coming back into play, Brendan said: “Very, very important. I think he’s a certified winner, he knows what it takes and having someone of his ability and stature around the team is very important at this stage.

“I think you’ve seen it in a number of the cameos he’s produced recently. He didn’t get as much game time in parts of this season that maybe he felt he deserved.

Calmness as well as the quality

“We were giving other players a chance that we brought in. But the longer it goes on you see his qualities and what he brings to the team. His mindset and what he brings to the pitch and that calmness as well as the quality will be really important for us.

“He’s a remarkable professional. From the first time I met him in 2016 there were some noises about him moving but I never felt that at all.

His focus is absolutely phenomenal

“His professionalism, his focus is absolutely phenomenal. How he looks after his body, prepares himself, has never wavered. I was never, ever going to rule him out because I know what he gave me my first time here and in spells this time round. He’ll be instrumental figure for us on the pitch and off the pitch.”

Hopefully Brendan is minded to start James Forrest on Sunday at Dens Park. He certainly merits his place in the Celtic starting XI and as a multiple course and distance title winner Jamesy certainly knows how to get Celtic over the line.

You know it makes sense Brendan!

Paul Gillespie

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