James Forrest is backing Callum McGregor to become the latest Celtic star to shine for Scotland.
McGregor has gone from being the glaring omission from boss Gordon Strachan’s national squad to a possible starter against Slovakia in double-quick time.
With their Hoops teammates Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong having pulled out injured, Forrest foresees a role for McGregor at Hampden tomorrow.
“I think Callum has been excellent for us (Celtic),” said Forrest.
“He had a great season last time and he has started off really well again.
“It is a credit to him and he has worked hard to get into the Scotland squad.
“I train with him every day and we play together week in, week out so I know what he can do.
“You see him finish with both feet in training and he can certainly take a goal.
“He likes to arrive in the box late and you saw at the weekend there against Hibs that his two finishes were excellent.
“All the top managers say that at international level you have to be able to keep the ball and Callum can do that.
“He has just kept working hard and hasn’t spat the dummy out or anything like that.
“He is level-headed as well so if he does get the chance to play on Thursday he will just go about it the same way he always does.
“He is in the squad now and if he gets the chance to play then I’m sure he will do well.”
Like manager Strachan, Forrest thinks the Scots will do OK without Armstrong and Brown.
“Obviously, we know they are both big characters in the changing room and on the pitch,” he said.
“They have been a credit to Scotland and, especially in the last two games, they played really well.
“They will be a big miss but we just have to focus on who is here and who can help get the job done. That is what we will be doing.
“We know the squad is strong and that we have players to come in and fill the gaps.
“We do have a lot of midfielders so a few of the boys are looking to get the nod to start.”
Forrest and his Parkhead pals have been involved in a series of massive matches of late, not least last week’s demolition of Anderlecht in the Champions League.
However, he insisted the Slovakia clash will still be special.
“I have been playing every three days or so with Celtic and they are all big games but Thursday is right up there with them,” he said.
“It’s definitely a big match.
“We have two games left now and we have to win both.
“I think for Scotland to get to the World Cup it would be a tremendous achievement but we don’t really want to think about that now.
“All we need to focus on is winning these games.”