BY DARREN JOHNSTONE @CCP_Sport
Scotland coach Stuart McCall insists injuries are preventing Celtic winger James Forrest from becoming a ‘really top player’.
The 13-times capped attacking midfielder showed flashes of brilliance in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over Ross County, which included setting up Leigh Griffiths for the third goal.
But the 24-year-old hobbled off during the closing stages with an apparent hamstring strain and has been plagued by a series of problems in the last three years.
Forrest collected his latest cap in last month’s 2-2 Euro 2016 qualifying draw with Poland and McCall insists national team manager Gordon Strachan and the rest of the backroom staff are desperate to see the playmaker stay clear of injuries.
McCall said: “It’s been on and off probably for about the last three years and obviously from a Scotland point of view we want him to play as many games as he can.
“Even on Sunday in the last five, ten minutes, Celtic had made three subs and he had to come off.
“It’s something that’s really stopping James from being a really top player. He needs a consistent run of games.
“He was terrific on Sunday, especially in the second half in a 15 minute period just after half-time.
“He comes off the line and gets into little pockets, he’s an intelligent player. He likes to drive and play one-twos.
“He was lively all day and I think people were maybe surprised that he didn’t start in Europe the other night.
“With all wide men it’s about the delivery, the end product. He produced that and it was a top performance from him.”