Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hailed Jeremie Frimpong’s progress after handing him a big opportunity to impress in Sarajevo tonight.
Frimpong took advantage of James Forrest’s injury in Riga last week to make a massive impact against the Latvians. He then followed that up with another dynamic display against Hibernian on Sunday – terrorising both Josh Doig and Lewis Stevenson.
Unsurprisingly, he was therefore selected to take the reins down the right once more for this evening’s crunch clash in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Lennon was speaking to BBC Sportsound (01/10, 18:50) in the build-up to tonight’s game, and had yet more morale-boosting words for the Dutch speedster.
“You have to remember with Jeremie – his career is in its infancy. He made great strides last year and now we’re seeing a reflection of those performances again which is ideal because he brings so much power and energy to the team.
“We have to bear in mind how young he is – he’s still learning really. But we’re delighted with what he’s accomplished in the last couple of games now.”
Lennon can’t immediately go back to Forrest
We all know Forrest is one of Lennon’s favoured options. Before his injury in Riga, Jamesy had started seven of 10 games since the start of the season. He was clearly ahead of Frimpong in the pecking order.
But recent performances from the Dutchman proves that, regardless of Lennon’s trust in Forrest, Frimpong is offering more.
Forrest had only managed two goals and one assist in a total of 10 appearances before he had to come off in Riga. That’s simply not good enough, and we need a better standard of performance from our right wing-back this season.
Frimpong had managed the exact same tally in terms of direct goal contributions despite only starting four games before the Riga contest. He’s started the campaign more efficiently, and deserves a prolonged run in the team.
Even tonight, his pace has caused Sarajevo’s back-line some problems, and he’s always looking to go past his man whenever he gets in possession.
When Forrest comes back, so long as Frimpong keeps his standards high, he has to sit on the bench for the foreseeable future.