Kris Commons will still be Celtic golden Bhoy

KRIS COMMONS remains the man whose goals can fire Celtic to the Premiership title.

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Kris Commons has scored 22 goals this season but missed out against St Johnstone
Kris Commons has scored 22 goals this season but missed out against St Johnstone

Even though Hoops boss Neil Lennon has bought Leigh Griffiths, and is now pairing him with Anthony Stokes as a front two, leading scorer Commons is still expected to shoot on sight.

The Mansfield-born Bhoy has blasted his way to a rapid-fire 22 goals this season, double what anyone else at the club can claim.

That includes Stokes, whose hat-trick last Sunday against St Johnstone, added to the strike against Aberdeen the weekend before, took him to 11. The Republic of Ireland

striker has quickly struck up a good partnership with new Bhoy Griffiths, who should have been credited with his first goal for the club against Saints, but was wrongly flagged offside before he put the ball into the net.

For the second game running, Commons did not add to his tally, and has now scored just once in the last four games.

But, despite re-jigging the side to play Stokes and Griffiths up front, "Not at all," was the manager's emphatic response when asked if the twin-pronged attack system will impact on Commons' effectiveness or strike rate.

Lennon believes the evidence to back up his confidence was there for all to see last weekend, and that, with a little bit more luck, Commons would already be much further ahead in the race to be the club's leading scorer for the season.

The Parkhead boss would go as far as to suggest that, with the arrival of Griffiths - whose movement drags defenders away to make room for team-mates coming from deeper positions to get a clearer sight of goal - a whole new raft of shooting opportunities could open up for Commons.

Having noted that Commons' energy and performance levels had dropped in a few games, this could provide the fresh impetus to get him back to where he was for the first half of the season.

Lennon said: "Kris almost scored a couple of times against St Johnstone, and I thought, overall, he looked a lot freer in his movement and brighter in his play.

"That was the Kris Commons we've seen the whole season, really.

"He is so clever at picking up little pockets of space between the defence and the midfield of the opposition."

However, Lennon does not believe the 'Griffiths Effect' will be restricted to Commons.

And the fact Stokes grabbed more than a third of his goals for the entire season as the Scotland striker made his first start alongside him last weekend supports that theory.

"When you bring in a player like Leigh, it gives everyone a lift," said Lennon, clearly satisfied that it was £900,000 very well spent as the transfer window was about to close last month.

"You could see that he certainly gave everyone a lift on Sunday."

Football

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