Hooper: Forrest can fill McGeady's shoes
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
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Christian Benteke tells Aston Villa not to stand in his way if a 'club like Arsenal' come calling
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you need to know about the Champions League final
Manuel Pellegrini must deliver five trophies in five years at Manchester City says chief executive Ferran Soriano
Major refinancing sees Manchester United slash interest bill by £10m a year
- 1 Liam Gallagher slams Daft Punk: 'I could have written Get Lucky in an hour'
- 2 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.