Neil Lennon has demanded more from both Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths after the Celtic duo bailed him out of severe trouble at Easter Road yesterday.
The two strikers came on in the closing stages and made a big difference in proceedings to ensure the Hoops left Leith with a point. Edouard smashed home a late penalty before Griffiths’ late corner caused mayhem in the Hibs box for Diego Laxalt to profit.
Granted, the pressure has still been cranked up on the Hoops boss, but defeat itself would’ve been even more unthinkable for a support becoming quickly disillusioned with what the Celtic boss is producing.
The Celtic duo provided when it mattered, although big damage had been done up the other end to halt us from taking all three points yesterday. And Lennon has demanded more from the strike duo as the season goes on.
Speaking to Celtic TV, Lennon said: “The subs did absolutely fine.
“I’m delighted yeah (with how Edouard and Griffiths linked up). They’ve got to contribute more now as the season goes on. They had a bit of fire in their belly for the last 20-25 minutes.
“But we need to start games like that. We’ve dropped two points today and that’s pretty hard to take after a great win at Motherwell.”
Difficult for the strikers to turn it on when everything behind them is so poor
It’s easy to point fingers at Edouard and Griffiths, and they’ve certainly not hit the heights this season – the former especially after a series of poor performances from the starting line-up.
However, you can’t look at the forward players and say that a big reason for our problems is the frontmen. Yes, all four strikers can be doing better at the moment, but they’re getting absolutely minimal service from the players in behind.
Ryan Christie, Mohamed Elyounoussi, and Jeremie Frimpong in particular haven’t been providing good enough service for the likes of Griffiths and Edouard to profit from. Albian Ajeti tried to make runs all over the place yesterday and he wasn’t being picked out by those playing behind him. It led to him being more and more frustrated as the game wore on.
The concern at the moment is that if Tom Rogic has an off-day then there doesn’t appear to be anyone else who’s going to pick the passes he does. Christie appears to be too concerned with finding the net himself, whilst Frimpong and Diego Laxalt’s deliveries from the wide areas haven’t been great.
When Edouard and Griffiths play, there’s an onus on both of them to create. However, they seldom manage to get any joy from using the likes of Christie or Moi. Instead, their best moments come from when they combine together, and it was that combination play in particular that forced Ofir Marciano into a couple of stops in the second half.
The confidence behind the frontmen is so low at the moment, and that’s something that has to change. It’s easy to call for more from Griffiths and Edouard, but there are a lot more pertinent problems than what we’re seeing from those two.