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Boost for Bhoys as Forrest declared fit

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Celtic's James Forrest. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA

Celtic's James Forrest. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA

Celtic's James Forrest. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA

CELTIC midfielder James Forrest has given boss Neil Lennon a boost ahead of Sunday's Scottish Cup final by declaring himself fit to face Hibernian.

The Scotland winger missed the recently crowned Scottish Premier League champions' 4-0 romp over Dundee United at the weekend with a hamstring injury.

But the 21-year-old hopes to train with his team-mates towards the end of the week as he bids for a starting slot at Hampden.

Forrest – who was yesterday named in Scotland boss Gordon Strachan's squad for the World Cup qualifier in Croatia next month – said: "I've been feeling good. I was a wee bit tight and couldn't play on Sunday but I'm hoping to train Friday and Saturday and be fit for selection for Sunday."

Meanwhile, Hibernian defender Paul Hanlon claims the club's disastrous first-half display against Falkirk in the semi-final saved their season.

Pat Fenlon's side took on the Bairns at Hampden last month following a miserable run that had seen them win just once in the league since new year. Things then went from bad to worse when the First Division outfit stormed into a three-goal lead at the interval while striker Lyle Taylor blew a chance to make it four.

Angry

That embarrassing scoreline prompted an angry exchange of words between the players during the break.

But it had the desired effect as Hibs stormed back to seal a 4-3 win after extra-time.

The Leith side have not lost since that game having ended the Premier League season with draws against Aberdeen and St Mirren before successive victories over Hearts, Kilmarnock and Dundee.

And as Hanlon prepared for Sunday's final, he claimed the home truths shared are the reason why.

He said: "The Falkirk game was the turning point. The first half was really, really bad and that hit home to folk that it just wasn't acceptable.

"We really just pushed on from there and it was great the way we came back.

"It was that determination that got us back to this cup final."


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