My goodness, how many of us have underestimated the importance of having James Forrest fit and available.

Indeed, the Celtic winger stepped up his return to action with a superb goal to break the deadlock against Livingston. That goal came minutes after he had found the net again earlier on only for it to be flagged for offside.

Forrest’s trickery was a major problem for Livingston throughout the game yesterday. Had Celtic not played with such width, with James on the right and Moi on the left, it would never have been a 6-0 game.

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But the Hoops managed to make the pitch far too big for Livingston. Width is what provided the springboard for Celtic to storm to the title last season. It’s incredible that it’s taken us so long this term to work out how important it is. Especially against packed defences.

Of course, the game would have a major sour note to it. Forrest would come off on 58 minutes limping and struggling to cope with his hamstring. It looked a nasty one, with John Kennedy simply admitting post-match that it would be a waiting game.

James Forrest needs to be unleashed at Ibrox – he looks in the mood

Whilst the injury to Forrest isn’t in the same area as his long-term ankle problem he suffered this season, a pulled hammy can be just as bad. Especially if it’s a serious tear that simply hasn’t been identified yet.

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With Celtic set to travel to Ibrox on Saturday, there’s an overwhelming need for James to be fit. Celtic don’t have any other options for the wide-right position if he isn’t. Putting Ryan Christie back out there doesn’t help our cause either.

James Forrest injury update

James Forrest suffered an injury at Celtic Park yesterday / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If Forrest was to miss out, nobody knows what kind of ripple effect that would have throughout the team. If Kennedy moved Christie over to the right, he could look to centralise Elyounoussi. The man who bagged two goals from the left-wing position yesterday.

It’s anyone’s guess as to how that could affect the rest of the team. All we know for sure is that we need Forrest back, especially considering he’s on a run of two goals in two games.

And the Celtic supporters were keen to highlight his importance post-match too. Here’s a look at what many Hoops fans are saying:

 

In other news, John Kennedy has stoked the Glasgow Derby fire with a brilliant Celtic squad assessment.

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