Leigh Griffiths has admitted that he’s absolutely itching to make an impact for Celtic and help turn the club’s season around.
Griffiths was a peripheral figure during the early stages of the campaign as he struggled with fitness issues and a calf knock. However, he’s helped save several points for the club in recent weeks thanks to goals against St Johnstone and Aberdeen respectively.
Now, he looks like he should be one of the first names on the teamsheet after returning with a sharp frame of mind. With Celtic travelling to Lille on Thursday night, it could be the case that Griffiths is given his second consecutive European start.
And the Celtic man has delivered a class update on where he’s at mentally ahead of a hectic run of games for the club.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Griffiths said: “It’s great, being back in the team and scoring, it’s the thing you work hard for every week.
“I don’t think I need to prove anything. The manager knows what I can do, whether that be starting or coming off the bench, I want to try and contribute as much as I can. For me, the only opinions that matter are the coaching staff here at the club, and whether they feel I’m ready to start games or come off the bench to make a contribution.
“I’m raring to go, I’m training every day. If I get a start, then great, if not, I’ll do everything I can to help the team get the three points – in Europe or at home.”
Griffiths’ ability to bounce back from hard knocks deserves more credit
How many times has Griffiths been written off over the last year alone at Celtic? I feel like I’m losing count trying to remember how often the Scotland international has been criticised or deemed not good enough to make an impact anymore.
Yet the truth is Griffiths looks as good as he’s ever been in a Celtic jersey. His goal at Aberdeen on Sunday was absolutely top-notch, as he showed sharpness, technique, and composure to slam the ball beyond Joe Lewis and into the top corner.
His ability to bounce back from real hard knocks deserves more credit. He’s had to deal with personal demons, consistent injury problems, strong criticism from his manager, and new signings in his own position. Yet through it all, Griff continues to show his worth on a weekly basis.
Make no mistake, right now he should be ahead of both Patryk Klimala and Albian Ajeti. He deserves to be given his recent form and the fact he’s dug Lennon out of two major holes recently.
We’ll see how Lennon tries to operate in Lille tomorrow night. It could be the case that he doesn’t think it’s a game that would be suited to what Griffiths brings to the table.
But given how much he’s repaid his manager recently, that would certainly be harsh on the rejuvenated striker.