Celtic interim manager John Kennedy has confirmed James Forrest will be in contention for a starting spot against Falkirk in the Scottish Cup tonight.
Celtic’s defence of the historic trophy has almost taken a backseat in recent days with the hype and noise surrounding Eddie Howe’s potential appointment.
Ties like this can be taken as an afterthought for the more complacent amongst us.
However, tonight is a crucial fixture and fans desperately want to end the season with more Scottish Cup silverware.
Kennedy obviously won’t be complacent in the slightest and it’s likely as strong a team as possible will be fielded at Celtic Park, taking into account international break exertions.
Forrest hasn’t started a fixture since the European qualifier against Riga all the way back in September.
He was used as a substitute twice recently, but Kennedy reckons he now has enough in the tank to be a starter.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference [YouTube], the interim boss said: “James has again had a good week’s training, so James is good to go.
“In the Rangers game, we brought him off the bench and obviously the Dundee United game. But he’s now had enough training time and that to come into contention to start games now.”
Mikey Johnston could be joining James Forrest soon, but not tonight
Kennedy also provided an update on Mikey Johnston, stating: “Mikey’s had a period of time out again. It’s been a tough season for him in terms of injuries.
“He’s come through most of the training this week. I’d probably like to get a bit more in him if I’m being honest.
“He’s a young player and he’s still maturing, physically developing, at his stage. What we don’t want to do is rush him back too quickly. We need to make sure he’s robust enough and ready.”
Kennedy has spoken before about how much Celtic have missed both players this season, so it’s likely he’ll be utilising both heavily between now and the end of the season.
That should start tonight with Forrest, with Johnston hopefully following in short order.