"I knew"; Ange Postecoglou praises written off Celtic hero

By John McGinley

October 15, 2022

Ange Postecoglou has paid tribute to James Forrest after his outstanding contribution to today’s 6-1 Celtic victory over Hibernian.

Forrest scored his first hat trick for the club since 2018, bringing his total career tally at the Bhoys to 100 goals. Only 29 people have managed to do that before him, with the winger undoubtedly etching out his own bit of glory in Celtic history.

The 31-year-old hasn’t featured much this season, in fact, today was his first start. But he showed why he earned himself a new contract, which Postecoglou referenced in his post-match comments.

Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland [17:25], the Bhoys boss said: “It’s quite significant for James because he joins a pretty elite club. Your career is always defined by the things that last rather than the money you make. He joins an elite club and he’s firmly entrenched himself in the history of the club.

“It’s a great credit to him. It’s exactly why we wanted to keep him at this football club. A successful squad is made of many parts. People sometimes don’t understand that, they think it’s just about getting some players together. Everyone makes a different kind of contribution.

“I knew James at some point this year would be an important player for us. He’s been chipping away at it, he hasn’t had a lot of game time. But over the last few weeks, every time he’s come on he’s made an impact. He was ready today and I know there’s more to come.”

Today could be the catalyst for a James Forrest resurgence at Celtic

It’s fair to say that Forrest has been written off at Celtic on more than one occasion. Most recently, some thought he wouldn’t come back from his injury problems over the last couple of years.

Postecoglou’s faith has paid off today, and hopefully, it can be the start of a Forrest renaissance. I doubt the winger will be a consistent first-choice pick with talents like Jota and Sead Haksabanovic emerging, but he is a reliable presence and when he finds a bit of confidence he can punish opponents.

The key thing is keeping him fit and involved. If the coaching staff can do that, he can prove to be a very useful squad option this term, as the manager alludes to in his post-match comments.

In other news, Aaron Mooy just had his best game for Celtic.