Matthew Lindsay

JAMES Forrest last night revealed the disappointing results against Hibernian and Livingston had fuelled the Celtic players’ desire in their stunning performance against Ross County yesterday.

Forrest netted his eighth goal of the 2019/20 campaign in the second-half of the emphatic 6-0 triumph over Ladbrokes Premiership rivals County at Parkhead.

The Scotland winger confessed afterwards that he and his team mates had still been smarting from their defeat in West Lothian 13 days earlier and were desperate to make amends.

Neil Lennon’s side surrendered top spot in the league table to their city rivals Rangers after drawing with Hibs at Easter Road last month and losing to Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena earlier this month.

“In the last couple of weeks we’ve been thinking about the dropped points and we wanted to put that right today,” he said.

“We’ve started the season well but didn’t do ourselves justice in the last two games. That can happen.

“Livingston deserved to beat us, but that was more like us today, we looked more like ourselves.”

Forrest added: “At half-time, with the score 1-0, Ross County were still in the game even though we had a lot of chances. But we came out in the second half and got the goals we couldn’t in the first.

“All the boys looked at it from the off and the manager says it’s up there with the best he’s seen us play.

“We all enjoyed it and didn’t want it to finish because we were so strong as a team and could have scored more.”

Forrest, who was taken off in the second-half to give him a rest before the Europa League match against Lazio at Parkhead on Thursday evening, believes Celtic must strive to maintain the same level of performance going forward.

“That should set the standard for us,” he said. “We were gutted after Livi and the last two weeks have been hard.

“But we showed a great attitude today and that should be the benchmark for the league games to come now.”

Forrest played alongside Jeremie Frimpong – Hatem Elhamed was rested ahead of the Lazio game - on the right flank and felt the former Manchester City player performed well.

The Scottish Footballer of the Year feels the impact that Frimpong, who was only making his second appearance, made shows that Celtic have the strength in depth they need to enjoy another successful season.

“Jeremie played in the Betfred Cup game here on his debut and got Man of the Match,” he said. “He played really well again, he bombs on and is really good to play with. He was attacking all day.

“In training he’s been really sharp and waiting for his chance. The staff are buzzing with him and the players enjoy playing with him.

“The new players have hit the ground running. When you get quality coming in, they help the ones already here. All the boys are pushing each other now.”

Odsonne Edouard took his tally for the season at club level to 11 with a second-half double and Forrest admitted he is delighted to have the French striker alongside him in the Celtic team.

“Odsonne has been unbelievable so far this season with the goals he’s scored,” he said. “And his link up play is really good as well.

“We went away with France U21’s and scored goals for them as well. He’s a top player and great to have in the team.”

Forrest’s manager Lennon was pleased with how all of his players performed during the course of the 90 minutes - but he is keen for them not to relax ahead of their meeting with Lazio in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

The Scottish champions are on top of their section after two games - they drew with Rennes away in France last month and defeated Cluj at home earlier this month.

But Lennon said: “We won’t get carried away and we’ve got a good game up next.

“That is the kind of performance we want from the team. We can enjoy our night. It (the title race) going to go and fro for a while, but if we play like that for the majority of games it’ll take a lot to stop us.”