JAMES FORREST was hooked by Neil Lennon during Celtic’s 2-1 loss to Rangers at Parkhead on Sunday.
It hadn’t been one of the winger’s most memorable outings for the team – and some disappointed Hoops fans showed their displeasure as the team faltered at the last hurdle of a decade of success.
The defeat opened the door to the Ibrox outfit in the title race and Steven Gerrard’s men are now only two points adrift, but with what could turn out to be an extremely valuable game in hand as they attempt to derail the Hoops juggernaut’s bid for nine in a row.
Former Celtic defender Mark Wilson, who spent six years at the club after his £400,000 arrival from Dundee United in January 2006, admitted he understood how the champions’ followers felt after a fairly dismal showing.
But he urged them to lay off the boos – and defended Forrest, in particular, after the fall-out of some criticism.
The attacker, who has won 18 medals in a glittering career, was taken off in the 68th minute as the team toiled to make an impact against the visitors.
Wilson, now manager of Brechin City, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I’m not having that criticism. Look at what James Forrest has contributed to Celtic over the last 10 years.
“We all know wingers are inconsistent at the best of times, but Forrest has performed consistently over a considerable period of time. He has delivered in big games.
“It wasn’t that long ago he scored the winner against Rangers and you look at the Lazio games.
“Okay, he’s had a few bad matches and he’s one who divides opinion sometimes, but some of the Celtic supporters are too harsh on Forrest.
“It’s always a bit heated after losing to Rangers, but I’m sure most understand he’s been a terrific player for the club and will have an important role to play in the rest of the season.”