Leigh Griffiths provides insight into the pivotal team meeting after defeat to Rangers

By John McGinley

May 26, 2020

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has given a bit of background on the first team meeting following December’s defeat to rival Rangers, The Glasgow Times reports.

As we know, Steven Gerrard’s outfit got the better of the Hoops at Celtic Park in the match preceding the Scottish Premiership winter break.

At the time it was portrayed as a huge loss in the context of the title race, with the Ibrox side pulling to within two points of our lead at the top of the table, with a game in hand.

However, it all seems to have been a motivating factor for Neil Lennon’s squad as much as anything.

In the first get together following the derby loss, the team concluded that they may have to go the rest of the season undefeated to win the title.

As quoted by The Glasgow Times, Griffiths explained: “Going away we had a few days to reflect on the defeat. Then we had a team meeting before the first training session in Dubai.

“It was said that: ‘We might need to go unbeaten from now until the end of the season to make sure we are champions’.

“After that it was about topping up the fitness as much as we could, and also enjoying ourselves as well.

“You need to remember that we’d played 40-odd games by the turn of the year. Boys were running on empty a bit so we had to relax in Dubai, but also put the work in. When we came back it was like we had a new lease of life. We just blitzed teams along the way.”

Obviously whatever happened during that trip worked wonders both in terms of physical fitness and finding the mental strength to go on an extended winning run.

Of the ten league matches we played in 2020, we’d only fail to win once, which was still a point gained against Livingston away from home.

Leigh Griffiths celebrating a Celtic goal / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Our rivals of course completely fell away, apparently struggling to deal with the pressure of supposedly being genuine contenders to the Scottish football crown.

Although the 38-game schedule was not concluded there’s no doubt that we deserved champions status, for the ninth season in a row.