JAMES FORREST will “play a big part” in Celtic’s future, according to manager Ange Postecoglou.
The 31-year-old winger has not started a game this season and has made only two substitute appearances for a total of 38 minutes of first-team action.
But Postecoglou insists Forrest, who signed a three-year extension the day after the Hoops claimed the title in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United on May 11, still has an important role to play, despite the £1.7million arrival of Sead Haksabanovic from Rubin Kazan.
WALLOP…James Forrest fires in a shot in Celtic’s 9-0 hammering of Dundee United at Tannadice.
The Hoops gaffer has a welcome overload of talent on the flanks with Liel Abada, a hat-trick ace in the 9-0 demolition of Jack Ross’ side at Tannadice at the weekend, Filipe Jota, Daizen Maeda and now the Montenegro international all vying for a place in the top side.
Forrest has been pushed down the pecking order, but Postecoglou said: “He’s a great guy and he’s great for this club.
“You need guys like him and that’s why we re-signed him.
“He’s still very much a part of the club and even though he’s not played a lot of football yet this season, he’ll play a big part in what we’re trying to do.”
The Greek-Australian, speaking to Open Goal, added: “When you’re building a football team it’s not just about the team itself.
“It’s about the people you’ve got in the building and how you build a culture.
HOOP HOOP HOORAY…James Forrest celebrates signing his contract extension in May.
“Culture to me is people, if you’ve got good people in the building then you don’t have to worry about things and he’s a really good one.
“He’s had a great career here and he’s still really motivated to do well so i’m pleased that we’re able to have him as part of the group.”
Former Hoops goalscoring great John Hartson is convinced Postecoglou has a plan for the player who has spent 13 years at Parkhead, CQN reported last week.
Forrest’s first-team outings have been restricted to two appearances off the bench, replacing Jota on both occasions.
He came on for the last 10 minutes of the 5-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park and was introduced in the 62nd minute of the Tayside goal deluge.