Celtic boss on what James Forrest must do to return to his best

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Ronny Deila believes that James Forrest is on the path to recovery.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Celtic boss Ronny Deila has admitted that Scotland winger James Forrest has got his career back on the right path.

The 23-year-old winger made his Bhoys debut in 2010, and has managed 144 appearances since then. However, that tally should be much higher, and the youngster’s career has been blighted by injury.

After making 43 appearances in the 2011/12 season, Forrest has managed less than 30 in the following two seasons, and has yet to hit 20 this campaign. However, he came off the bench during Sunday’s League Cup final against Dundee United, and is in line to at least pass the 20-game mark.

A side-effect of his injuries has not just been a lack of football in a time when he should be developing, but a lack of form when on the field of play. Not being able to find consistency in game time limits the impact of one’s appearances, and it is no surprise that his goal and assist tallies are slowly dropping.

Despite all of his injury problems, his recent performances have suggested that he is slowly on his way back to his best form - the kind of form that has seen him compared to Bhoys legend Jimmy Johnstone - and head coach Ronny Deila believes that all that is required now is for Forrest to find confidence when he plays.

“It’s been a long time since James has been consistently good,” the coach told the Daily Record. “It has been hard work building his self-belief back up that he won’t get these injuries. I was happy for him to score on Sunday and win a penalty but he is not even close to what he can be as a footballer.

“In that situation [injury] you get frightened so we need to get his confidence back and get him to start believing in himself again. It has been psychological but it’s about getting the balance and control of his body.”

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