Is James Forrest a Celtic legend? Ange Postecoglou has say and explains why he kept him at club

Ange Postecoglou is convinced James Forrest has earned legendary status at Celtic after his hat-trick against Hibs took him to the 100-goal mark for the club.

On his first start of the season for Celtic, the 31-year-old winger netted three times in a comprehensive 6-1 triumph to extend their lead at the top of the cinch Premiership to five points.

Forrest was one of five fresh players introduced to the team and he repaid Postecoglou’s faith with a scintillating performance.

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“It was great for him,” said Postecoglou of Forrest’s exploits. “He’s joined an elite club – 100 goals for this club and credit to him and the way he’s had his career at the club. There was a reason we kept him around. It wasn’t sentimental reasons. When you’re putting a squad together it’s the sum of all parts that make it strong. You need players like James. He’s experienced, calm and have quality. He hasn’t had a lot of chances because players in his position have been doing well. But I had no doubt at some stage we would call on him and he would deliver. Over the last few games he’s made impacts coming on so I could see he was ready to go. I’m delighted but not surprised.”

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou hails James Forrest after he scored a hat-trick.

When asked if Forrest was a legend at the club, Postecoglou responded: “Absolutely. You don’t stay here for that time particularly in that position. Daizen [Maeda] doesn’t score for two games and everyone is on his back so to last as long as he has is testament to his character. He’s humble but determined to be the best he can be. Credit to him, he joins an elite club, 100 goals which is fantastic for him. I keep telling players they’re the things that last beyond your career and you reflect on. I wasn’t even aware of it but I’m sure he was. He took it well. It wasn’t just his goals, his general performance was really good.”