Brendan Rodgers hailed one of the “fathers” of Celtic’s recent success after James Forrest reproduced his vintage form with a match-winning double at Dens Park.

The winger capitalised on a first start in five months to score both of Celtic’s goals in a 2-1 victory over Dundee, which kept them three points and five goals ahead of Rangers at the top of the cinch Premiership table.

Forrest was handed only his fourth start of the season after an excellent goalscoring cameo against Aberdeen at Hampden last weekend and he responded by taking his goal tally for the campaign to six.

Rodgers had admitted during the week that he might have underused the 32-year-old this season and Forrest underlined that theory on Tayside.

The Scotland international, who has 22 winners’ medals with Celtic, opened the scoring with a stunning 18-yard volley on the half-hour mark. He doubled the lead midway through the second half when he won possession, took a return pass from Reo Hatate and fired home with his left foot.

Rodgers said: “He’s just a brilliant player. I said to the guys afterwards, he’s one of the remaining fathers of the success that this club has had over the last decade or so in particular.

“There’s very few of them but he is definitely one of them that has created this mentality and symbol of quality over this past decade that this club has had.

“His first finish is sublime really, what technique, and his second one he makes it look easier than it is.

“He may not quite have the legs he had a number of years back but he certainly has the quality, that doesn’t diminish. He was our match-winner and I’m so happy for him.”

Forrest had an early effort at goal and set up Hatate with some brilliant wing play as Celtic dominated the early stages.

“He demands it, he looks after it,” Rodgers said. “If you can’t beat a man, he secures it. The variety in his game, taking people on, looking to make passes, shooting, everything you would want from your winger to be effective in the game. He produced that.”

READ MORE: Dundee 1 Celtic 2: Forrest hits double on first start in five months

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart was booked for time-wasting as Dundee pressed for an equaliser after Adam Idah had sliced a clearance into his own net in the 74th minute following Antonio Portales’ strike.

Rodgers said: “The pitch was difficult, it was bumpy, so it was always going to be a challenge to play fast-flowing football, but at this stage of the season it’s about getting the result. It was pleasing to see the game through.”

Dundee manager Tony Docherty felt his side might have deserved a point after having six efforts on target, the same amount as their visitors.

“Somebody just told me the stat, I think it’s the most shots on target Celtic have faced all season, which speaks for itself,” he said. “I am hugely proud of the players and the level of performance.

“First half we were a little passive in terms of our press, we let their two centre-halves advance a wee bit further than we would like to. But we addressed that at half-time and we came out second half and I thought it was a really dominant display.

“There is a wee feeling that we could have got something from the game but the overriding feeling, and what I have said to the players, is that nothing changes in terms of league standings with St Mirren’s result.

“But what does change for me is the belief that the players have got in themselves must go up.”