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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

'I think he's destined to play at a higher level' - Kilbane backs Forrester to make step up

The former Ireland international-turned-pundit says the midfielder will go far if he keeps doing what he’s doing.

Forrester has featured 31 times for the Posh since joining.
Forrester has featured 31 times for the Posh since joining.
Image: EMPICS Sport

CHRIS FORRESTER HAS been earning rave reviews since moving the England and former Ireland international Kevin Kilbane is pundit to give the midfielder his seal of approval.

The Dubliner joined League One club Peterborough United from St Patrick’s Athletic back in August and has quickly settled into life with the Posh.

Last Wednesday’s night saw him feature against West Brom in the FA Cup fourth round and although the Premier League side eventually won on penalties after a 1-1 draw, 23-year-old Forrester was singled out for praise.

Kilbane, who retired in 2012, spoke highly of the player during the BBC’s coverage and he elaborated on a visit to Dublin yesterday for the FAI Junior Cup quarter-final draw.

“He played really well,” said Kilbane. “The club is going to speak highly of him because they want to bump up his transfer fee and try and get as much profit out of him as possible.

“It was just how composed he was, he ran the show in many respects. The other lad, (Martin) Samuelsen, who played with him caught the eye from an attacking point of view but it was how he controlled the game and the whole tempo of the match. I think he’s got a big future.

But, we’ve said it so often, haven’t we? So maybe we just let him go play his football, hopefully get 50 or 100 games over in England but I think he’s destined to play at a higher level.”

Kilbane Junior Cup Kilbane with the FAI Junor Cup. Source: David Maher/SPORTSFILE

Kilbane earned his first senior call-up to the Ireland squad while on the books at then third tier Preston North End back in 1997 (although he pulled out through injury), but he believes Forrester still has a bit to go before reaching the level of Ireland’s current midfielders.

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“I saw (Peterborough chairman) Darragh MacAnthony say recently that’s he’s as good as Jeff Hendrick,” Kilbane added.

“I don’t think he’s at that level. I’m a big admirier of Jeff and I think’s been a bit unlucky that he hasn’t been able to find a way to get a move into the Premier League.

“But I just think it’s one of those where he (Forrester) has just got to continue doing what he’s doing and hopefully that move will come for him. If it doesn’t then he’s got to be hoping he gets promoted with Peterborough and he’s playing Championship level next season.”

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Ben Blake

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