Darren Fletcher believes Celtic's James Forrest should have started for Scotland, critical of Alex McLeish

(L to R)   Alex McLeish, Jon S. Baird and Les Dennis attend a special screening of 'Stan & Ollie' at The Soho Hotel on January 8, 2019 in London, England.

Celtic will be hoping to clinch the Scottish Premiership title when domestic football returns at the weekend.

17th March 2019, Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Dundee versus Celtic; Nathan Ralph of Dundee challenges for the ball with James Forrest of Celtic

Darren Fletcher has been left utterly perplexed by Scotland manager Alex McLeish's tactics and claimed that Celtic's James Forrest should have started during their 2-0 win against San Marino on Monday.

Last Thursday, the Scot's slumped to a humiliating 3-0 defeat against Kazakhstan. They followed it up by narrowly beating the worst side in the world as their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign started off in a poor fashion. 

Celtic's Forrest was dropped to the bench for the San Marino encounter as he looked lively when he was brought on as a second-half substitute.


Speaking to Sky Sports Football (24/03/2019 at 6:45 pm), Fletcher was critical of McLeish's defensive tactics and his decision to drop Forrest to the bench.  

"I still don't think there was a need of four defenders and two defensive midfielders," Fletcher told Sky Sports Football. "I felt they played 20 yards too deep - it was crying out for someone on the right-hand side. 

"If James Forrest had played on the right from the beginning, I think Scotland would have scored, four, five or six goals because when he came on he created two or three chances. He created the second goal. It was crying out for him." 

Scotland manager Alex McLeish and assistant James McFadden are seen during the UEFA Nations League C group one match between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park on November 20, 2018 in...

The defeat and performance in Kazakhstan and the manner in which Scotland beat San Marino has not gone down well with the supporters. 

At club level, Forrest has been one of Celtic's best players, scoring 15 goals in all competitions and supplying his teammates with 19 assists [transfermarkt]

But just like his attack-minded teammates, he has been unable to replicate that form onto the international stage as Scotland face a battle to reach yet another major tournament. 

Nonetheless, Forrest will return to club action at the weekend where the Bhoys will come up against bitter rivals Rangers in the first of two Old Firm derbies before the season draws to a close. 

17th March 2019, Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Dundee versus Celtic; Celtic manager Neil Lennon retrieves the ball

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