"No excuses"; Celtic man warned he's running out of chances at loan club
Dundee favourite Lee Wilkie has warned Celtic loanee Leigh Griffiths that he has no excuses for not hitting form for Dark Blues.
Griffiths has struggled on the East Coast thus far. In 6 outings, he’s scored just once, in a 2-1 win over Aberdeen.
His progress was derailed somewhat by injury, and bizarre incidents on the pitch. The police are investigating a particular flashpoint against St Johnstone from earlier this season [Scotsman].
Thus far, it just hasn’t worked for him.
And Wilkie, who made over 100 appearances for Dundee, wrote in his Courier column:
“…we want to see James McPake’s side emerging from this enforced mid-season break having put in some good work over the three weeks off.
“That goes for everyone. But more so for star man Leigh Griffiths.
“He’s been at the club almost three months now. If he’s not fit and ready after the recent break, serious questions will be asked. I’ve said from the start, if they can get the Scotland man fit and firing they have a serious weapon at their disposal.
“And he has no excuses now if he’s not ready to go. He had an injury and that can happen but the time is now for Griffiths. Because if it’s more of the same from him, the focus will shift to the player himself. I’ve been there on the long road to recovery from injury.
“It’s incredibly tough. You mump and moan about doing extra stuff but you do it to get back on the pitch. That extra work, though, is purely up to the player in question.
“My big hope is he’s got the fire in his belly again and can get Dundee going.”
If Leigh Griffiths is to have a career revival away from Celtic, it’s up to him
Griffiths is being given everything he needs to succeed. When fit, he’ll be made the focal point of the attack. He has a manager who knows him personally, is a friend, and will back him.
Furthermore, he’s at a club where he’s been successful before. The focus will be on getting the ball to him, and bringing Dundee out of the Scottish Premiership basement. The mandate is clear.
Absolutely, Dundee took a gamble on Griffiths, who was discarded by Celtic. From their perspective, it was an educated one. You hear the words “natural finisher” and “when he’s fit and firing” around his name all the time.
At 31 though, he’s really got to get to work on what he does best if he’s going to have much of a late career. 1 goal from his 6 outings with Dundee really just isn’t good enough.
Perhaps then, the three weeks off will have given him some focus and respite. Even if he’s eventually suspended for the incident against St Johnstone, he could contribute until then.
As Wilkie says, it’s up to him.