Celtic are sitting pretty at the top of the Scottish Premier League, four points clear of rivals Rangers after the Ibrox side were held to a 1-1 draw at Ibrox. It has been a massive turn around in the fortunes of Celtic Football Club since the beginning of November when they were 12 points behind their rivals, with many writing off Neil Lennon's side.
Lennon has overseen Celtic's 12 match unbeaten run, while Ally McCoist's side stagger, stumble and falter against teams they really should be beating. Proving that they were heavily reliant on the form of the want-away Nikica Jelavic and Steven Naismith, the latter being out for the season through injury.
While Neil Lennon, his management team and the players must all share the credit for the great turn around, former Celtic team mate Bobby Petta points to the influence of Martin O'Neill.
In an exclusive interview, Petta stated: "I think Lennon and the whole staff have been doing a good job. It’s his second season, it's not been all rosey either, he's had a lot of challenges and a lot of bad things happen on and off the pitch.
"But I think they've done a really good job, especially now when they were 15 points behind and now two points ahead. May this continue and I can see a lot of influences from Martin O'Neill in Lenny.
"You can see that being very animated on the sidelines, same thing with Paul Lambert, there’s a lot of things that have rubbed off."
Petta added: "But Lenny is doing a very good job, and he's got some very young talented players, like Forrest. They need to keep producing especially with the money situation too, local talent, home-grown talent is very important."
On the talents of Forrest, Petta said: “I think he’s been growing and growing, obviously his performances this season have been outstanding, scoring goals, coming inside and scoring with his weakest foot too.
“He’s growing as I said, he is evolving; not so much going down the wing on the sidelines, but coming inside to link up with the strikers. He’s got good work rate. I’ve spoken to him a few times, the boy is very eager and listens.
“I think nowadays, especially with the younger players, where they get a lot of attention and being young in the first team too, there’s a lot of pressure being at Celtic. But he’s kept his own and he will only get better and better.”
Forrest has been linked with moves to England and was recently named in FIFA's list of 13 youngsters destined to make a big impression in 2012.
Petta added: “He is only going to get better, but Celtic need to try and keep him for as long as possible.”
The Dutchman also admitted that he would love to return to Celtic Park.
He added: “I would love too, I’m not going to lie about that, I would love to be involved, either with being a coach there, being an assistant, whether for the Under-19s or the first team. Depends on the conditions, but I want to be involved."