By Alex McLeish

26th Sep, 2021 | 8:00am

Celtic hit by shattering double injury whammy after Forrest update - McLeish

Alex McLeish has admitted Celtic have been dealt a blow at both ends of the pitch with James Forrest ruled out for nearly another month.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland boss suggested the Hoops had missed the 30-year-old’s work rate down the flank.

As quoted by the Scotsman (22nd September), Ange Postecoglou confirmed Forrest, as well as Christopher Jullien, would return to first-team training after the October international break.

However, he stopped short of stating when the duo would be available for selection again.

Forrest has not featured since the Europa League qualifier against AZ Alkmaar last month.

McLeish suggested Celtic have been dealt a double whammy due to Forrest’s absence.

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Asked if not having Forrest available had hurt Celtic in defence as well as attack, McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “100 per cent.

“Sometimes get people watching games and say: ‘What does he really do?’ James does a lot. He probably isn’t open to those kinds of questions

“But you’ll see other players getting that asked of them: ‘What do they really do?’

“When they’re out of the game, that’s when you see how big a loss they are to a team.

“He’s produced so many goals over the seasons and so many assists. Not only that, his work rate for the team, his tracking back, he does all that’s well.

“That’s one of the things with last week’s Livingston result, Ange is going to be into those defenders. You’ve got to be back sharper, you’ve got to be out quicker.

“For me, there were a lot of players at half pace last weekend. Maybe it’s a confidence thing.”

In other news, “world-beater” tipped to jump at chance to join Celtic as move touted.