Wed. Nov 20th, 2019

Football Karma

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Lennon’s talks up Celtic’s potential deadly trio

3 min read

Celtic manager Neil Lennon enthused about his wingers after they combined to earn a 1-0 victory at Hamilton.

Debutant Mohamed Elyounoussi sent in a low cross which James Forrest converted from six yards inside four minutes.

The Norway international made an impressive start to his loan spell from Southampton while Forrest came close to an eighth goal in nine Celtic matches just after the break when his strike was touched on to the underside of the bar.

Lennon was delighted to see Forrest continue his flying start to the season.

“Not only the goal, I just thought he was our biggest threat all day,” Lennon said.

“His pace and the effort that hit the bar, his running power, he pulled one back for Odsonne (Edouard) who was unlucky he miscontrolled it.

“He was creating chances, he was a threat all day, and he scored another brilliant goal. That’s seven by mid-September, which is a great return. Brilliant player.

“His run for the goal, he gets out from wide right inside the box and it’s a great finish.

“It was a great ball in from Mo, who had a very good debut. He had a really good hour.

“He hasn’t played a lot of football recently but he looked fit and fresh, and he looked the good player we thought he was going to be. And obviously as we go along, we are hoping he is going to improve.”

Another attacking player who impressed was Hamilton’s Lewis Smith.

The new Scotland Under-21 international got on the ball more often after Marios Ogkmpoe came off the bench early in the second half to provide a physical presence up front.

The 19-year-old showed confidence to hold on to the ball and pick out a team-mate to allow Accies to get forward after a one-sided first half.

Head coach Brian Rice was delighted with his work and compared the teenager to a young Ryan Christie, whom he coached at Inverness.

“I have known about him for about two or three years but actually coming in to work with him in the last seven, eight months I think he has kicked on and grown in his self,” Rice said.

“His confidence has got higher and the players trust him obviously. I think you saw a young man who, if he continues to work hard and train like he plays, has got a wee chance.

“He is one kid who nothing will faze. He won’t go big time, he is a very quiet level-headed kid.

“Right now Lewis is where Ryan is when he was at Inverness. Ryan is very similar to young Lewis and I have said to Lewis to look at his clips, how he receives the ball, everything he does.

“He is a joy to work with but it is down to him. I can give him the platform but he has to perform on it.

“Right now he is enjoying it and I enjoy watching him. I thought he did very, very well.”

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