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‘FANTASTIC FORREST DESERVES RECOGNITION,’ DAVIES

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WILLIE WALLACE advised the Celtic support back in 2012 to get off James Forrest’s back as there was a real top quality footballer in his make-up just waiting to explode onto the big stage.

Yesterday Celtic’s assistant manager picked up the theme after the Prestwick Pele’s astonished just about everyone at Celtic Park on Tuesday night with a world class performance against a Bayern Munich defence that he terrorised all night.

The through ball to Callum McGregor for that wonderful goal Celtic scored was something we’d expect to see from Messi rather than James Forrest. It was that good.

It would have been in the early hours of Wednesday morning on the Gold Coast in Australia when Wispy sat down to watch the game with the Brisbane Bhoys. He could afford to a wee whisper under his breath,’ I told you so,’  after watching Jamesy’s star shine at its brightest.

Chris Davies is of course part of the management team that are charged with getting the very best out of the Celtic players. In Brendan Rodgers, new autobiography, he describes in detail meeting the players for the first time and how they set about improving them so that they would become Invincibles.

“James is playing at the top of his game,” said Davies. “Looking at Tuesday in isolation, that performance was of a very high level.

“He was fantastic. He was up against one of the left backs in the world. You look at his receiving of the ball, his touch, technique, the passes and the detail on his passes, the way he was running, whether it was his decision making when to dribble or take the ball inside. The quality of the ball for Stuart Armstrong’s early chance at the back post was top class.

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“The lift for Callum’s goal was top class. It was all great technique.

“James has got really good technique. We have had loads of good attacking players here in the last 17 months and he is someone who maybe doesn’t get spoken about as much as the other guys.

“He’s such a humble lad, who does his best every time he players, and he’s a very good player.

“It’s important when he has nights like that it’s recognised, because sometimes it doesn’t when you come through the academy and others are being signed.

“Since we’ve been here he’s played a lot of games because he does all the things that we want in terms of pressing the ball and he works really hard for you.

“He’s got a really good touch and decision making with the ball. That position he’s playing there as well is really suiting his profile – like a wing-back – as he does both roles.

“Don’t forget, away from the assists on Tuesday, James defended well at the far post, clearing the ball with his head twice and he’s had to defend one v one. He brought a lot to the game.”

Today they could go one further to become The History Bhoys and if Tommy Wright is going to do something about that he is going to have to do something about James Forrest.

On his current form, that’s easier said than done.

“James is playing at the top of his game,” said Chris Davies yesterday before heading to the team’s pre-match hotel.  “Looking at Tuesday in isolation, that performance was of a very high level.

“He was fantastic. He was up against one of the best left backs in the world. You look at his receiving of the ball, his touch, technique, the passes and the detail on his passes, the way he was running, whether it was his decision making when to dribble or take the ball inside. The quality of the ball for Stuart Armstrong’s early chance at the back post was top class.

“The lift for Callum’s goal was top class. It was all great technique.

“James has got really good technique. We have had loads of good attacking players here in the last 17 months and he is someone who maybe doesn’t get spoken about as much as the other guys.

“He’s such a humble lad, who does his best every time he players, and he’s a very good player.

“It’s important when he has nights like that it’s recognised, because sometimes it doesn’t when you come through the academy and others are being signed.

“Since we’ve been here he’s played a lot of games because he does all the things that we want in terms of pressing the ball and he works really hard for you.

“He’s got a really good touch and decision making with the ball. That position he’s playing there as well is really suiting his profile – like a wing-back – as he does both roles.

“Don’t forget, away from the assists on Tuesday, James defended well at the far post, clearing the ball with his head twice and he’s had to defend one v one. He brought a lot to the game.”

Hopefully we’ll sing a wee song for Jamesy today.  Willie Wallace would approve.

ORDER BRENDAN RODGERS – THE ROAD TO PARADISE WITH A FREE GIFT INCLUDED FROM CQNBOOKSTORE.COM

Brendan Rodgers – The Road to Paradise The Official Autobiography is available now from CQNBookstore.com – the first 100 orders received will come with a free gift.

From a small village on the north-east coast of Ireland to the treble-winning manager of Celtic, Brendan Rodgers’ football journey has been a remarkable one of dedication, hard work, a desire to always keep improving and a determination to succeed at the highest level of the sport … and throughout his life there has always been a love of his team … Celtic Football Club.

In his own words, Brendan Rodgers tells his story – from a promising young footballer growing up in Carnlough and dreaming of playing for Celtic one day through to his professional career – as a player, a coach and now as one of football’s top managers. And Celtic supporters will also enjoy an insight into a remarkable season – from the first competitive game in Gibraltar through to the thrilling Scottish Cup final, with plenty of highlights in between, including the manager’s first trophy triumph and some unforgettable Glasgow derbies.

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