Ange Postecoglou explains James Forrest Celtic absence; Tom Rogic benching also addressed

By John McGinley

August 21, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has explained why James Forrest wasn’t included in his match squad for today’s Celtic games against St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership.

Forrest was a notable absentee, not appearing in the starting line-up or on the bench. That sparked fears he may have suffered another injury that would keep him out of action for a long time.

However, Postecoglou has allayed those concerns, speaking to BBC Radio Scotland before kick-off today. [14:07]

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Bhoys boss said: “James Forrest picked up a knock on Wednesday night and he’s done enormously well for us. So I thought it best to leave him out today to recover and rest.”

Postecoglou also addressed the benching of Tom Rogic for Ryan Christie. The Aussie has been in great form recently, with Christie returning from injury.

Odsonne Edouard also came into the team after appearing from the bench against AZ Alkmaar.

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He explained: “Tommy Rogic has been outstanding but again he had a limited pre-season and I thought this was a good game to throw Ryan Christie on. Ryan was fantastic before he got a knock and he’ll bring energy.

“Odsonne Edouard has been super for us and having a couple of fresh legs after a difficult night on Wednesday will help us.”

The manager wasn’t asked about the absence of James McCarthy, so there’s no immediate update in that regard. But we’ll keep our eyes posted for that later today.

Photo by BO AMSTRUP/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

With massive matches against AZ Alkmaar and Rangers on the immediate horizon, the manager has taken the right steps with Rogic and Forrest today. We need that duo fit and available to give Postecoglou as many tactical options as possible.

The team on the park today should have too much for St Mirren.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou is excited about the potential of Celtic defender Stephen Welsh.