JAMES FORREST agrees with boss Brendan Rodgers that the Celtic defence needs to tighten up.

The in-form winger scored the goal of the game when he netted to give the Hoops a 3-0 interval lead over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

However, sloppy work at the back threw the Perth outfit an unlikely lifeline when they claimed two late goals.

Substitute Ryan Christie hit a fourth to make sure there was no sensational comeback from Tommy Wright’s battlers.

And it was a similar story in midweek when Hapoel Be’er Sheva scored two in as many minutes to pull it back to 3-2 in the Champions League play-off before the Hoops rallied to win 5-2.

Forrest said: “We started off really well, got the three goals and were maybe a wee bit complacent in the second-half, but credit to them to get two goals back.

It was just a couple of times they got through and they scored two goals.

“So, we maybe need to work on that and, hopefully, not concede any goals.

“I think we can stop that from happening. As it was, we showed a bit of character to get the fourth and kill the game.”

Rodgers admitted he was “99.9 per cent satisfied with his team’s performance and added: “Obviously, we are disappointed at losing two goals and that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth – especially when you have the majority of the game.

“Overall, we played some wonderful football, got four goals, but there’s a little area we need to be better in and we know we need to tighten up.”

Forrest said: “Naturally, I was delighted with my goal. It made us three-nil up and rounded off a good first-half.

“Confidence is going through the entire team just now. We’re kicking-on and, hopefully, we can take that confidence into the return leg in Hapoel.

“I just think since day one of pre-season, it has been hard training and everybody has been benefiting from it – fitness and football-wise, as well.

“Perth is a hard place to come to and get three points. It was important to keep the momentum going for Tuesday night.”

*That Season in Paradise – Ten Months of Celtic Heaven is available now from www.cqnbookstore.com – you will love it!

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