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  • Leigh Griffiths is aiming to help Celtic kick on

    Leigh Griffiths is aiming to help Celtic kick on

    By: Joe Sullivan on 05 Dec, 2018 09:01

  • THE change in Celtic’s fortunes this season was kick-started when Leigh Griffiths scored against St Johnstone in Perth. That was back at the end of September, and the team hasn’t looked back since the striker’s 83rd-minute goal in the League Cup quarter-final.

    Since then, the Hoops haven’t been beaten domestically and are back displaying the sort of form that won back-to-back trebles for the first time in Scottish football history.

    Ironically, Griffiths himself has played little part in the success since then, as illness and injury have seen him take a back seat for both club and country for much of the intervening two months.

    However, he is now back in the running after coming off the bench to score with his first touch against Hamilton Accies, and he's all set to do his bit as the Celts head further into a heavy schedule of games.

    Speaking ahead of the game against Motherwell at Fir Park tonight, Griffiths said: “I'm feeling good. Obviously coming off the bench against Hamilton, it was a nice feeling to come on and score. The injury has cleared up now and I'm looking to kick on.

    “We have a lot of games this month and we’re heading towards the second part of the season. So if I can stay injury-free and get game-time, then I’ll hopefully be banging in goals for club and country.”

    The Scotland internationalist is also determined to reclaim his place in the national side after his decision to concentrate on his fitness took flak, while he was defended by Celtic manager, Brendan Rodgers who said the player made a brave decision.

    Griffiths said: “You could say it was brave, but a lot of people didn’t agree with that and I had to take the abuse I got on the chin and do my work in here. It was unfortunate that I was ill and injured at the same time, but I've come back stronger and I'm ready to kick on.

    “I want to be back in the reckoning, but that all comes from playing well for Celtic, being involved and getting game-time here.”

    Some of that game-time could come tonight when the Hoops visit Fir Park to take on Motherwell and Griffiths is determined to make an impact in this busy period.

    He added: “I think everybody goes though dark times when they are injured, or not playing and the team’s getting success. It’s difficult from a personal point of view. Obviously, you're delighted that the team’s doing well and focusing on that.

    “But, from a personal perspective, you want to be involved and be out on the training pitch having a bit of banter with the lads. I've said it before, that when the team is doing well, you can’t have any arguments. For the past two-and-a-half months the team have been playing really well.

    “The boys that weren’t playing at the start of the season have come in and done the job and won their place in the team, and rightly so. Taking your chance when you get it is all you can ever do. When you're called upon, whether that be from the bench or starting the game, you need to make an impression.

    “And the boys have done that after starting the campaign slowly. Slowly but surely we have got better and hopefully after this month, we are ready to kick on for the second part of the season.”

    Griffiths only needs look back at those goals against St Johnstone and Hamilton for inspiration. He said: “In the St Johnstone game we created a few chances and then we got that goal, which knocked the stuffing out of St Johnstone and set us on our way

    “I need to wait for my opportunity and when I do get that starting slot or come off the bench, I need to make an impression like I did at Hamilton.”

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