Hayes tips Forrest to raise goal standard
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