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PRAISE FOR CELTIC’S ‘ULTIMATE PROFESSIONAL’

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COMEBACK Bhoy James Forrest is being backed to cap a remarkable return to action.

Interim boss John Kennedy praised the Celtic winger’s first start in over six months when he got the opening goal in the 3-0 Scottish Cup third round win over Falkirk at Parkhead yesterday.

The caretaker gaffer admitted he would be “surprised” if the 29-year-old forward doesn’t get the call-up from international manager Steve Clarke for the Euro Finals in June with Scotland scheduled to take on Croatia and the Czech Republic at Hampden and England at Wembley.

Kennedy said: “James is the ultimate professional. He does everything to maximise what he’s good at and it’s great to have him back.

“He started to show that threat that allowed him to get his goal. We’re delighted to see him on the scoresheet and get minutes in his legs.

HEAD BHOY…James Forrest (behind Shane Duffy) nods in the winner against St Mirren in Paisley in September.

“Of course, he’ll want to go to the Euros and Steve knows what a good player he is.

“He eliminates opponents and it’s important to have that in the squad. It would be a surprise if he’s not in it.”

Looking at the holders’ victory over League One pacesetters Falkirk where it took 56 minutes to break the barrier with Forrest’s goal, Kennedy, speaking to STV, added: “The first-half wasn’t so good.

“We had lots of the ball, but were a bit sloppy in the final third.

“The second-half was better, we scored terrific goals and probably should have won by more.”

Ryan Christie added a second only two minutes after Forrest breakthrough strike and substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi chipped in a clever third to make sure the holders are in this afternoon’s fourth round draw.

THREE CHEERS! QUICKFIRE CELTS ON TARGET

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