Hayes tips For­rest to raise goal stan­dard

Evening Times - - SPORT - By SCOTT MULLEN

JONNY HAYES has backed James For­rest to be Celtic’s goal hero in Nor­way on Wed­nes­day.

The 26-year-old winger was thrown through the mid­dle on Satur­day against Sun­der­land and, de­spite not get­ting a goal him­self, was a key part in the 5-0 rout at the Sta­dium of Light.

For­rest was played out on the right in the first leg of the Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fier against Rosen­borg, but he could be set to be front and cen­tre when the Hoops go to Trond­heim.

“James was out­stand­ing up front,” said Hayes. “Be­ing a wide player, his move­ment was re­ally good. He moved the cen­tre-halves and mid­field­ers about the pitch.

“They didn’t know who was pick­ing him up and when he dropped into the hole, it gave me and Scotty a lot more free­dom to get for­ward.

“I don’t think he gets the credit he de­serves. He is a clever player as a winger. He knows when to keep the ball and is of the high­est cal­i­bre, hav­ing been at Celtic for al­most a decade.

“James kept Paddy Roberts out the team for a long time last year and that shows how good he is.

“On his day, no­body can touch him and if he goes and plays that role through the mid­dle in mid­week, he can do more than just a job.

“He can score goals, cre­ate chances and do well there for the team.”

Mov­ing For­rest through the mid­dle could well present an op­por­tu­nity for Hayes him­self to get in the start­ing line-up.

The Ir­ish­man got a sec­ond-half cameo dur­ing the week as Rodgers tried to in­ject fresh legs into his team.

“I’m pleased with how things are go­ing so far,” he said. “I knew it was go­ing to be tough to try and get in the team. I’m not just here to play in the Cham­pi­ons League or just to do what­ever, it’s about the whole pack­age for me.”

Jonny Hayes is back­ing For­rest to be goal hero

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