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Celts chief thrilled with Forrest's progression

Celtic 5 Motherwell 1

James Forrest
James Forrest

By Ronnie Esplin

Boss Brendan Rodgers saluted "brilliant" James Forrest who reached double figures in goals for the first time at Celtic with a brace in the 5-1 win over Motherwell on Saturday.

Odsonne Edouard, the 19-year-old striker on loan from Paris St Germain, captured the headlines here with a stunning hat-trick in what was only his third start for the Hoops. Forrest came on as part of a double substitution along with Callum McGregor in the 67th minute after Well replacement Elliott Frear had pulled a goal back.

The 26-year-old Scotland winger, who came through the youth ranks at the Parkhead club, helped himself to a double to take his goals tally so far to 10 as Celtic extended their unbeaten domestic run to 67 games.

"For me, he has been brilliant," said Rodgers. "It has been a joy to see him grow and develop in my time here.

"I wanted to change the dynamic of the team by putting him and Callum on, both can take the ball and keep it and I felt at that stage of the game we needed to do that.

"You can see he is a real goal threat, inside of his left foot, outside of his right, two brilliant finishes.

Rodgers spoke of a "complete" performance by Edouard and of having an option to sign him when his loan deal expires next summer.

The French teenager, who took his Celtic goals tally to four since arriving in Glasgow in the summer, said: "I am absolutely delighted to score my first hat-trick for the club.

"I have been patient, very patient, and (was) very happy to start the game. It is all down to the trust of the manager and to make an impact with the hat-trick, I couldn't be happier."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson insisted that he and his side will be all the better for the experience.

He said: "Our boys are making their way in the game and they will learn from that and be better for it."

Belfast Telegraph


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