By Dominic Toner
James Forrest has praised the influence of Brendan Rodgers at Celtic after agreeing a new deal with the club.
Rodgers became the manager of the Scottish giants over the summer and has made a sound early impression.
Forrest is one of the players who has benefitted under the change of management and agreed a new contract in August, which keeps him at the club until 2019.
The 25-year-old has explained that former Liverpool boss Rodgers held positive talks with him and his team-mates in pre-season.
“The manager has been a big influence on me. I’m sure a lot of the Celtic boys would say the same. He’s come in and given us a lot of confidence,” he told the Scottish Sun. “We’ve been working hard and I think it has showed. Hopefully we can keep it going.
“I spoke to him when we came back for pre-season. He just told me he had seen me play before and he told me what he expected. I think he spoke to all the boys and it was clear he wanted us to work hard.”
Forrest has already made 16 appearances this season for Celtic, scoring five goals and supplying four assists.
The winger played just 33 times last season, with 15 of them coming coming from the bench, and there were concerns he could leave the club.
Rodgers has played a huge role in his recent form and also helped Celtic return to the Champions League.
The reigning Scottish champions are back in the group stages of Europe’s elite club competition and suffered a shock 7-0 defeat to Barcelona in their first game, but earned a spirited 3-3 draw with Manchester City at home.
Celtic are the current league leaders in the Scottish Premiership and have already four points ahead of second-placed Aberdeen.
Forrest is currently with Gordon Strachan’s Scotland side as they prepare for World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania and Slovakia.
In other Celtic team news, their 13-year-old wonderkid is set for his first international call-up.