Leigh Griffiths vows to win back Celtic place after Rangers draw

By dsguser
13 March 2017

Leigh Griffiths has assured Celtic fans he is working as hard as possible to maintain his fitness and get back in the starting line-up.

Manager Brendan Rodgers recently questioned the striker's devotion and work-rate in training as he spent a month out with the latest in a series of muscle injuries.

But the 26-year-old insists there is no problem now after returning to the bench in recent weeks. He scored against St Mirren in the William Hill Scottish Cup and was unfortunate not to get a penalty in added time as Celtic drew 1-1 with Rangers on Sunday.

Griffiths said: "There's been a lot of talk about rifts between me and the gaffer but I want to set the record straight: me and the gaffer have got a great relationship.

"It's unfortunate for myself that I have been injured, it's just little niggling injuries that are costing me. But I've been working hard the last few months in training trying to get free of them and hopefully I can kick-start my season now.

"I spoke to the gaffer behind closed doors. I knew what he wanted from me. It was the exact same when Ronny (Deila) was here, I got a boot up the a**e that I needed. The gaffer came in, I started the season well and it was unfortunate that I got injured and I kept pulling up with injuries.

"But now I'm fully fit and training as hard as I can and hopefully I get that run in the team sooner rather than later."

Griffiths, who has 14 goals this season, added: "Playing for this club means everything to me. The fans have been brilliant, there's a few that still text me and say my attitude needs to improve.

"But I think if you ask the gaffer from now on in, my attitude has been spot-on. I've got my head down, worked as hard as I can and got myself back in squads.

"I came on last weekend and scored a goal, and on Sunday, albeit I never had much of a chance, I should have had a penalty at the end. Hopefully next week at Dens I can contribute again."

Clint Hill admitted he was fortunate not to concede a penalty for a challenge on Griffiths moments after netting the equaliser, but he hopes new manager Pedro Caixinha was encouraged by what he saw as the Portuguese boss watched from the stands 24 hours after arriving in Glasgow.

"Hopefully he will take a lot of positives out of it," Hill said. "We are all very anxious to meet him and get going straight away. Hopefully we will hit the ground running with what he wants from us.

"I think he has plenty to work with. We created some decent opportunities and managed to get a point off a very difficult team."

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