Hooper: Forrest can fill McGeady's shoes
Tuesday 03 August 2010
Celtic striker Gary Hooper believes James Forrest can fill the void created by Aiden McGeady's absence during tomorrow's Champions League clash against Sporting Braga.
Forrest has only made three late substitute appearances for Celtic but the 19-year-old was handed his European debut by Neil Lennon during last week's 3-0 defeat in Portugal and set up Hooper's goal in a 2-2 Emirates Cup draw against Lyon on Saturday.
Hooper has seen enough of Forrest to believe he can help plug the gap of McGeady, in the short term at least.
Lennon this week claimed McGeady was injured, while the Republic of Ireland international winger's Celtic Park future is in doubt with a move to Spartak Moscow reportedly close.
"It will be a big loss, he (McGeady) is a very good winger," Hooper said.
"But we have other good players. James Forrest does a similar job if we get him on the ball.
"James Forrest is a similar player, as he showed against Lyon. He put the ball in for my goal and got man of the match.
"If he plays on Wednesday, we will be in with a good chance."
The forward watched from the sidelines in Portugal last week and the 22-year-old does not feel the scoreline reflected the play.
He is convinced Celtic can put the Portuguese side under pressure in the second leg of the Champions League third qualifying round tomorrow night.
"We've been talking about it," Hooper said. "There was nothing in it really other than set-plays and it wasn't penalty.
"I think we've got every chance of getting through. If we attack them and press really high, I think we'll have no problem.
"If we get the ball off them quickly, press them high and get them on the back foot and take our chances.
"If we get one we'll get a few and win 4-0 I reckon."
Hooper scored as Celtic came from two down to draw with Lyon in the Emirates Cup on Saturday, then watched his team-mates launch a strong, late fightback in a 3-2 defeat by Arsenal the following day.
And he is convinced another comeback is on the cards.
"We have to cut the mistakes out - that's what pre-season games are for," he said.
"I thought we played well in the last half an hour against Arsenal.
"If we can press Arsenal like that, we can do the same on Wednesday."
Latest in Sport
David De Gea latest: Louis van Gaal wants goalkeeper sold to Real Madrid so Jasper Cillessen can be signed before Saturday
UFC 190 Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia: What time does it start and where can I watch it, plus Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Arsenal vs Chelsea - Community Shield 2015: Mesut Ozil can prove his greatness at last, says Arsene Wenger
Manchester United and Adidas branded 'sexist' and 'discriminatory' as women's shirt features plunging neckline and different design
Arsenal vs Chelsea - Community Shield 2015: 'We are our own biggest threat,' says Cesc Fabregas
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality