Alex McLeish has claimed that James Forrest has been a ‘big’ loss to Celtic since his injury.
The Lowdown: Forrest update
As cited by the The Scotsman, Ange Postecoglou has confirmed that the 30-year-old, along with Christopher Jullien, will return to training with the first team after the international break in October.
Should Celtic start Forrest?
Forrest has not played for the Hoops since their 2-0 Europa League qualifying first leg win at home to AZ Alkmaar in August.
The Latest: McLeish on Forrest
When asked by Football Insider if not having Forrest available has been a loss for Celtic, former Scotland manager McLeish replied:
“100 per cent.
“Sometimes get people watching games and say: ‘What does he really do?’ James does a lot. He probably isn’t open to those kinds of questions
“But you’ll see other players getting that asked of them: ‘What do they really do?’
“When they’re out of the game, that’s when you see how big a loss they are to a team.
“He’s produced so many goals over the seasons and so many assists. Not only that, his work rate for the team, his tracking back, he does all that’s well.
“That’s one of the things with last week’s Livingston result, Ange is going to be into those defenders. You’ve got to be back sharper, you’ve got to be out quicker.
“For me, there were a lot of players at half pace last weekend. Maybe it’s a confidence thing.”
The Verdict: Big miss
Forrest has certainly been a big miss to the Hoops, as you only have to look at their league position. Before their clash with Dundee United today, they were lingering in sixth spot, which is simply not good enough for a club of their calibre and adds credence to McLeish’s claim about him being a huge loss to Postecoglou’s side.
The 30-year-old had also started the season well, scoring two goals and supplying a further three assists in seven matches across all competitions (Transfermarkt), so he still plays a key role in the team.
The Bhoys will be hoping to have the Scotland international back as soon as possible so that he can help rejuvenate their campaign.
In other news, Celtic have been dealt a triple injury blow
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