Scott Brown says James Forrest will become a record breaker at Celtic

Winger James Forrest has been involved in all of Celtic's nine league championships in a row.Winger James Forrest has been involved in all of Celtic's nine league championships in a row.
Winger James Forrest has been involved in all of Celtic's nine league championships in a row.
Captain reckons winger will end up the most decorated player in the club’s history

Celtic captain Scott Brown has predicted that James Forrest will go on to become the most decorated player in the club’s history.

The winger claimed the 19th major winner’s medal of his career last week when Celtic were declared Premiership champions, drawing him level
with the legendary Jimmy Johnstone.

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Forrest and club captain Brown, who has now won 21 major honours, are the only two players who have been present throughout Celtic’s current record-equalling run of nine consecutive league title wins.

Only Lisbon Lions duo Bobby Lennox, pictured inset, and Billy McNeill, who were members of 25 and 23 trophy-winning squads respectively, are ahead of Brown and Forrest in the all-time list.

Brown, who will be 35 
next month, feels 28-year-old Forrest remains largely 
unheralded given the scale of his achievements and backs him to have the longevity to top the lot.

“For me, Jamesy Forrest is the underdog here,” said Brown. “He can go a long, long way more yet. He’s only 28 at the moment, just about to turn 29, and has plenty of years to go winning trophies.

“He has been incredible and, for me, he’s been a breath of fresh air every time he steps on to that park.

“The things he can do with a ball are something else with his pace and his power. He can just drive you up the pitch at any given time and turn things around for the team when 
you might be under some 

“He just has that speed and strength to go past people and I always remember a goal he scored against Rangers when he just drove past three people to go into the box and then score. It was pace, quality and finishing ability all rolled together.

“I wouldn’t be able to tell 
you the exact numbers on it all, but he must surely be close to having the most goals and assists throughout the nine in a row out of anyone who has played in it.”

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The numbers are indeed impressive – Forrest has scored 54 goals and contributed 56 assists over the past nine league campaigns. But Brown insists there is more to Forrest than the statistics can illustrate.

“It just shows you how much he has helped us out and the thing is that most people only really notice that side of his game,” added Brown.

“The work he does off the ball is incredible to dig in and help out team-mates defensively if they need it.

“When Brendan Rodgers came into the club as manager, Jamesy was more of an old-fashioned winger, but that changed to him going into the box more to score goals, to be creating chances for other players.

“He’s just been adding so much more to his game with every season and that is the great thing about Jamesy in that he wants to learn and he wants to be the best.

“He’s been the best at what he does in the SPFL for many years and I was just so glad last season that he was recognised when he won the Player of the Year Awards.”

If Forrest can occasionally go under the radar while other Celtic players attract more attention and enjoy a higher profile, Brown feels that is down to the Scotland wide man’s laid-back demeanour.

“James is quite chilled out and he’s quite relaxed,” said Brown “He’s got good banter, but he just comes in and does his own thing.

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“He’s always into Lennoxtown quite early in the morning to make sure that he does his stretches before training.

“He’s always looking after his body to stay as fit as he possibly can because he knows that 
he has had injuries in the past and has got through them by looking after himself.

“He’ll go into the gym before training and stretch afterwards to look after himself and be in tip-top condition.

“It’s paid off because what a player he is and what a guy he is as well. Jamesy is so down to earth.”

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