Celtic skipper insists James Forrest can be surprise solution to glaring Scotland problem

Celtic skipper Callum McGregor believes title winning team mate James Forrest could provide the answer to Scotland’s right back riddle at this summer’s Euros.

Forrest is being hotly tipped to win an international recall in time to make the plane to Germany as manager Steve Clarke prepares to name a 26 man strong tournament squad. The winger has turned in a series of stunning individual displays to help his club over the line in the race to this season’s league crown and scored again on Wednesday night as the championship was secured in a 5-0 romp at Kilmarnock.

But McGregor suspects his team mate might do a whole lot more than just make up the numbers as a fringe man in Clarke’s plans now that the manager has been left with a major headache on the right hand side of his five man defence. With Nathan Patterson set to miss out and Aaron Hickey still battling back from injury after seven months on the sidelines, McGregor says Forrest could be a ready made replacement for the role.

He said: “The system that the manager wants to play is a right-wing-back role. I’d never dream of telling the Scotland manager who to pick but James certainly has the quality. He could play in that position and give us a little bit more of an attacking threat.

“It would be amazing if he managed to get back in for the tournament. He’s just got to keep pushing and knocking on the door and hopefully, he gets in.”

Forrest looked set to miss out on Clarke’s travelling party after spending most of the season stuck on Celtic’s bench. But the 32-year-old has nailed down his starting place in Celtic’s run towards the finishing line and looks certain to hold onto his starting place for the end of season showpiece in an Old Firm Scottish Cup Final.

McGregor went on: “He has made a big difference to the team as well in terms of his ball retention. James has been a big part of the team elevating their level in terms of how good he has been.

“Hopefully, he can keep pushing and play the last couple of games and you never know he might end up in the Scotland squad as well. I just saw that he is now on 23 winners’ medals. He deserves every bit of credit in the world for that.

“There have been some top players who have played at this club and to be up there pushing for accolades like that speaks volumes for how good he is, his professionalism, his mentality and how he has looked after himself. He deserves all the credit in the world.”