Lennon lavishes praise on Forrest
Published 23/08/2010 | 05:00
Celtic manager Neil Lennon struggled to contain his praise for youngster James Forrest after his mature display against St Mirren at Parkhead yesterday.
Lennon is trying to minimise the growing hype about Forrest, who is seen as a long-term replacement for the departed Aiden McGeady, but feels he has no option but to promote the 19-year-old midfielder to first-team duty. Forrest scored Celtic's third goal in a 4-0 success over St Mirren which also saw Joe Ledley, Shaun Maloney and Ki Sung Yueng find the net.
Lennon said: "I'm trying to keep a lid on the kid, not banging the drum but trying to play it down, but I couldn't keep him out of the team any longer. He was ready to play and I think everybody saw how good he can be.
"He's an exciting player with an eye for goal. He's an old-fashioned winger who just wants to hurt people. He like a kid that's come in off the street and said, 'right, throw me a ball, I'm ready to play'."
Ledley put Celtic ahead on six minutes and when Maloney claimed a second before half-time with a deflected effort, the out-come was never in serious doubt.
Forrest's moment came after 68 minutes, but the pick of the goals was still to come, Ki Sung-yueng's late hit from well outside the area taking the plaudits.