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Lennon hails boot-iful Forrest
Published : 27 Oct 2011 07:47:06
Neil Lennon revealed a change in boots at the interval helped James Forrest drag Celtic back from a goal down at Easter Road to thrash Hibernian and book their place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Communities League Cup.
An unfortunate own goal by Hoops defender Daniel Majstorovic after just four minutes gave the home side the interval lead. However, after he had discarded his white boots, Forrest grabbed a double and further goals from Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper put the Parkhead men in the hat alongside Kilmarnock and First Division duo Ayr and Falkirk.
The Celtic boss said: "I told Forrest to change his boots for start. He was playing with these white moulded boots on and he kept hitting the first man, stumbling over the ball and wasn't right in his thinking at all."
He added: "James is the type of kid you can have a go at and get a positive response and he set the tone for the second half straightaway, he was magnificent.
"He is a great talent, no doubt about it, he is very quick over five or 10 yards, the physical side is improving and he has a lot of belief in himself. He goes both way with pace, he plays with menace he is a hard man to stop and he will only improve."
To compound a miserable night for Hibs, their wide-man Ivan Sproule, whose shot had cannoned off Majstorovic for the goal, was sent off by Willie Collum in the 71st minute after picking up the second of two yellow cards for a foul on Mark Wilson.
Hibs boss Colin Calderwood had no complaints about the decision, saying: "It was a foul, he caught him going through and in that situation it was always a second yellow and then the red."
The former Scotland defender believes the turning point was not Leigh Griffiths' missed chance just before the break but Forrest's leveller just minutes into the second half.
He said: "A second goal might have given us something more to hang on to but the turning point is their equaliser. The timing of the goal and the way the game just went away from us, we should be able to defend much better and it is as disappointing as it is disturbing.
"I think we spurned an opportunity for a big result and it is very frustrating."