Rodgers hails Forrest after scoring first Celtic hat trick
The manager said his winger is 'one of the best receivers of the ball' he has ever worked with.
Brendan Rodgers hailed James Forrest after the winger scored his first hat trick for the club, saying he has significantly progressed this season.
The winger netted all three of Celtic's goals in the 3-2 Scottish Cup win to book the holders' place in the quarter finals.
Kris Doolan and Conor Sammon scored for the visitors but they were unable to force a replay, despite Ryan Edwards coming close to finding an equaliser in stoppage time.
Forrest took his tally to 16 goals for the season so far, making him the third top goalscorer in Scotland behind Alfredo Morelos who has 24 and Scott Sinclair with 17.
He's now equal second top scorer in the league with 10 goals, the same as Kilmarnock's Kris Boyd.
"He was brilliant, absolutely brilliant," Rodgers said at full time, after Forrest collected the match ball.
"His game has come on this year again, into being a really effective player because he has got that ability.
"He is technically very good, one of the best receivers of the ball I have ever worked with, in how he takes the ball on the side of the field or in the middle.
'He is technically very good, one of the best receivers of the ball I have ever worked with, in how he takes the ball on the side of the field or in the middle.'Brendan Rodgers on James Forrest
"He has a wonderful touch and how he can move it with his second touch and now he is adding goals to his game.
"He has that hunger to score goals and all three of them were outstanding today. He was the class player on the pitch and thoroughly deserves the match ball."
After setting a new personal landmark at the club he has been playing first-team football for since 2010, Forrest said: "I am absolutely delighted and getting into the next round as well, it was a good day all round.
"I have been on two goals before and had a couple of chances but not managed to get a hat-trick so I was delighted to get it."
Unsurprisingly Thistle boss Alan Archibald bemoaned his side's slow start to the match.
He said: "There are positives to take from it, if you get the first 15 minutes out of my head. It was a terrible first 15 minutes start to the game.
"We can't start any game like that, especially here, which was a big disappointment but the guys showed great character to come back from that."