There was nothing for Celtic to shout about yesterday, but the return of James Forrest was at least one positive we could take on a grim afternoon.
The Hoops officially relinquished the title after a 0-0 draw vs Dundee United. There’s nothing that will change that fact. We lost the 10, and even though we’ve known for some time that the league was lost, it was still a blow to see the line crossed.
As for the performance yesterday, what would normally feel like bright spots were left feeling immaterial. Dominating the game? Check. Creating lots of chances? Check. A confident defensive display? Check. But we came away from the game feeling nothing but emptiness.
However, the importance of Forrest’s return before the summer wasn’t overlooked. Jamesy has gone through the wringer in his recovery process over the last six months [Glasgow Live]. He’s been hit with setback after setback since his last Hoops appearance against Riga in September.
But after a good week of training at Lennoxtown, Forrest was back in the matchday squad yesterday for the first time since September 24th. The Scotland international was given the final 12 minutes to try and conjure up a moment of magic at Tannadice.
Celtic have undoubtedly missed James Forrest; a big few weeks awaits
As for his performance, it was what you would expect from a player who’s been out for such a long time. Forrest received the ball consistently in the closing stages. However, it was clear he has a long way to go before he’s at 100%.
The important thing from a Celtic perspective is that Forrest is back and gets some minutes under his belt before the campaign ends. He’s going to be a huge asset for the new manager, but it was important he returned and gets into the team regularly between now and the summer.
In that sense, the Scottish Cup could be particularly useful for him. It allows Forrest some proper competitive action this season. Even if we have six league games remaining, with the title over, something substantial has been taken out of those games.
It’ll be a slow process, but James will get there. He’ll be determined to get back into the Scotland fold for this summer’s Euros, and that will be another boost for Celtic.
So even on a day as bleak as yesterday was, the Hoops fans were still happy to recognise how vital Forrest’s return is in the grand scheme:
Great to see James Forrest back in the team, a while till he is match sharp but he reamains an important player. pic.twitter.com/QPrA4tb7Mu
— Lisbon Lion (@tirnaog_09) March 8, 2021
Buzzing to see James Forrest back! 🍀🤍 pic.twitter.com/cgTlWt4j6O
— s d 🍀 (@pukki_bhoy) March 7, 2021
So good to see James Forrest back on a football pitch especially with the Euros approaching. Could be a key player for Scotland!
— angie campbell (@angie647) March 7, 2021
Good to see the return of James Forrest yesterday, he gets a lot of unfair stick, but his absence has been notable the past few months, we’ve missed his goals and assists and the balance he brings to the side
— JustAnOrdinaryBhoy (@ordinarybhoy) March 8, 2021
No way James forrest came back n I slept through the match😭😭 gutted but glad to see him back! https://t.co/zwLttsDxYB
— Chloe Vallely (@vallely_chloe) March 7, 2021
— Christopher (@chrisfauxfur) March 7, 2021
I just saw James Forrest warming up and I’m greeting like a baby I’ve missed him so much
Welcome Back James
— alex (@XanadUnicorn) March 7, 2021
Me watching James Forrest warming up 😭🥺
My heart is full pic.twitter.com/Fcp02XX2CB
— shannon 🍀 (@Shannonxmcauley) March 7, 2021
One positive for today https://t.co/y40vEijGyQ
— Matthew McCarthy (@fattmatt31) March 7, 2021