John Hartson believes James Forrest should be “included to take the hump” after being snubbed by Scotland manager Alex McLeish. The 27-year-old has made 24 appearances for the national team and joined the squad off the back of fine form at club level – scoring four goals in a 6-0 win over St Johnstone – but that wasn’t enough to earn him a start against Israel in the Nations League.
Forest came off the bench with little over 20 minutes remaining as the Tartan Army lost 2-1 on the night. Previously, the Celtic winger had been left on the bench in games against Albania (Nations League) and Belgium (Friendly), and Hartson believes he’s more than entitled to be annoyed with McLeish about it. Forrest has scored and created 13 goals in 18 games in all competitions this season.
Writing in the Evening Times, Hartson said: “If I was in James Forrest’s position I think I might be inclined to take the hump with Scotland. I mean, what else do you have to do to get into the team? If you score four goals and are one of the best players in the country but can’t get a start for a game against Israel then I think you might be tempted to go and have a think about the situation.”
The Scotland winger rose through the youth ranks to the Celtic first-team in 2010 and has gone on to make 310 appearances across the board, contributing 118 goals. Forrest has been in good form this campaign too but is still being overlooked by McLeish. Scotland have lost six of their last eight games, so surely it’s time for a change?
Stats from Transfermarkt.