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Forrest revels in four-goal Celtic salvo after Euro pain

Hoops winger James Forrest scored four first-half goals in the rout of St Johnstone.

Four: James Forrest bagged four goals in the first half for Celtic.
Four: James Forrest bagged four goals in the first half for Celtic. SNS

Celtic winger James Forrest said his four-goal haul in the 6-0 win over St Johnstone was the perfect remedy for a painful night in Europe.

Forrest was sent off in the 3-1 Europa League defeat by Salzburg on Thursday night.

But he made amends on Sunday by producing a dazzling display and scoring four in a match for the first time in a Hoops jersey.

Striker Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor also got in on the act as the champions ran riot in Perth.

Forrest said: "After Thursday night it was disappointing for everyone and me personally.

"I have been thinking the last couple of days that there is nothing better than a game to come so quick that you can try to get over it.

"There is nothing better today than helping the boys out. It was the first time I scored four goals for Celtic. "The manager has been wanting us to be more clinical and ruthless in front of goal and we couldn't have been much better.

"We scored early and I was feeling good and we were hungry and pressing and gave the forward players a chance.

"Everybody hears about the goals and there is nothing better, it really lifts your game. "Sometimes you can play well and not score and it is maybe not remembered so it is definitely good to contribute and score those goals."

Boss Brendan Rodgers praised the former Celtic youth player for responding to his red card in the best possible way.

He said: "James has had an eventful week, that's for sure but it shows you his mentality.

"Something I've noticed in the last couple of years, that desire and will to want to score goals is important. "His job is to create and score and he has done that exceptionally well today.

"There were a couple of nice combinations with Tom Rogic to get himself in and his finishing with both feet was outstanding. 

"It was a very, very good individual performance by James. It was an outstanding team performance, much more like our level.

"We're getting back to where I want us to be and it all starts with that will and intensity to get the ball back.

"Defensively, we were very organised, our pressing was good and collectively everyone played their part.

"Every goal we scored was outstanding in its own right."

Tommy Wright lamented his heaviest loss as Saints boss, citing an inability to keep Forrest under wraps as key to the emphatic scoreline.

He said: "We started OK but then kept giving the ball away, didn't make a tackle, couldn't cope with Forrest.

"Totally torn apart. Celtic were ruthless. 

"But for Zander (Clark) it could have been more.

"We knuckled down in the second half and made sure it didn't reach double figures which it could have.

"We made far too many mistakes which led to bigger things.

"Danny (Swanson) is wrong, he has apologised. It was the wrong type of passion. He was a bit annoyed at half-time and I think he took that on to the pitch.

"It was the wrong thing to do and he knows that and it left us really short for the second half."

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