Stokes defends Forrest against criticism from Celtic crowd

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Celtic forward Anthony Stokes believes criticism of teammate James Forrest is unjustified.

Celtic forward Anthony Stokes has told the Glasgow Evening Times that he feels James Forrest sometimes gets a rough deal from the crowd at Parkhead.

Forrest can be accused of inconsistency this season, which leads to frustration among fans who want to see the very best from him on a constant basis.

However, despite the pressure and criticism coming from the crowd, Stokes has defended Forrest and suggests that the rest of the squad don’t hold similar doubts over his potential.

“He gets a hard time here sometimes off the crowd, but you ask anyone in our dressing room and they will all have good things to say about him,” said Stokes.

“He has that kind of pace that he could play in any league in the world - and I mean that.”

Forrest’s progression hasn’t been helped by the fact that he’s been constantly troubled by injuries throughout his career.

Every time he’s hit a good patch or run of form, he’s quickly found himself out of the team and chasing his way back to try and get back to a similar level in his performances.

With Celtic chasing trophies on two more fronts over the rest of the season, he’s going to be a key player.

That pace and impact, whether it’s from the start or off the bench, can make all the difference in tight games and he could be the man to turn things in Celtic’s favour during tense moments yet to come.

If he stays fit, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to impress with a regular run of games under Deila between now and the end of the season.

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