Scott Brown has been the leader through Celtic’s Nine in a Row.

But the Parkhead captain is adamant few down the years have provided more than James Forrest to help deliver the landmark run of success.

Manager Neil Lennon described his long-serving duo as “modern-day greats” having both played through every single one of the winning campaigns from 2011-2012 to 2019-2020.

In terms of personal tallies, Brown has won 21 medals at Celtic to make him third-highest of the playing list behind Bobby Lennox and Billy McNeill.

In joint fourth alongside Jimmy Johnstone sits Forrest with 19. The skipper, though, feels the day will eventually come in future years where his colleague will overtake his numbers.

And, when he assesses Forrest’s input of making and scoring goals as well as team ethic through the nine years of success, Brown believes his buddy is worthy of huge praise for his contribution.

Brown turns 35 next month and said: “For me, Jamesy is the underdog here. He can go a long, long way further yet.

“He’s only 28 at the moment, just about to turn 29, and has plenty of years to go winning trophies. He has been incredible and a breath of fresh air every time he steps on that park.

“The things he can do with a ball are something else with his pace and power.

“He can just drive you up the pitch at any given time and turn things around for the team when you might be under some pressure.

“He has that speed and strength to go past people and I always remember a goal he scored against Rangers when he drove past three people to go into the box and then score.

“It was pace, quality and finishing ability all rolled together.

“I wouldn’t be able to tell you the exact numbers on it all but he must surely be close to having the most goals and assists through the Nine in a Row out of anyone who has played in it.”

Forrest has undoubtedly lifted his levels throughout the years.

The winger was first handed his opportunity a decade ago by Lennon during the manager’s first spell in charge and has barely looked back.

Although he wasn’t always able to capture his best form during the Ronny Deila period at the club, the arrival of Brendan Rodgers sparked the attacker back to life and he has since blossomed.

Forrest’s dynamic displays under the guidance of Rodgers made him a key figure as the coach found ways to improve his all-round attacking game and the goal return lifted considerably.

The Scotland star was named Player of the Year by his peers around the country 12 months ago for bagging 17 goals for Celtic during the treble Treble campaign, also netting five for his country.

Forrest was on course to outstrip his club statistics of last term as he had racked up 16 goals in all competitions for Lennon’s men by the time the campaign was cut short.

Brown had a first-hand look at the subtle alterations which were implemented into his mate’s game and said: “When Brendan came into the club, he was more of an old-fashioned winger, but that changed to him going more into the box to score goals and to be creating chances for other players.

“He’s just been adding so much more to his game with every season.”

As well as his ability, Brown says it’s his attitude which makes Forrest such a special part of the Celtic set-up.

He said: “James is quite chilled out. He’s got good banter but he just comes in and does his own thing.

“He’s always into Lennoxtown quite early in the morning to make sure that he does his stretches before training. He looks after his body to stay fit and sharp.”