Leigh Griffiths has Euro goal at Celtic

LEIGH GRIFFITHS has set himself a target for the rest of the season - and beyond.

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Leith Griffiths is delighted Neil Lennon has shown faith in his ability
Leith Griffiths is delighted Neil Lennon has shown faith in his ability

The Celtic striker wants to do enough to convince Neil Lennon he is the man to lead the line in the Champions League.

The man who arrived from Wolves on the last day of January - and who has already scored four goals for the Hoops - accepts there will always be speculation about new signings.

He has also admitted he is fully aware not everyone who supports the club wanted him to be the striker brought in by Lennon in the last window.

But, Griffiths is only interested in impressing one person - the Parkhead boss - and is boosted by Lennon's faith in him.

Now he wants to hammer home the goals and the point that he is the man who can be trusted to lead the line in Europe next term.

This could even be considered a four-month audition to prove he can be the leading player in Celtic's attack when the biggest show in club football comes back around.

It is a huge challenge which Griffiths is embracing, and he has no intention of fluffing his lines. He said: "That is why the manager bought me and why the club gave me a four-year contract. I am here for the long run and, hopefully, I can take the Champions League in my stride."

The way Griffiths looks at it, he has a head start on anyone else the club may be linked with in the coming months because he is already in situ - and in the form to strengthen his case.

"I know there is going to be speculation about strikers coming here in the summer," he said.

"But I just have to keep my head down and keep working hard. Then, when the Champions League qualifiers come around in July, I hope to be on that teamsheet."

Griffiths will only have a few weeks off after Scotland play Nigeria in London on May 28 before he has to report back to Lennoxtown for pre-season training.

But, he knows the tough double training sessions have to be done to ensure he is at his sharpest in this pivotal part of the season, the vital qualifiers.

"I started well at Hibs last season and did the same at Wolves this time," he revealed.

"So, I believe I am the type who does hit the ground running, and I'm hoping I can do that again in the season coming up."

Griffiths could be a double champion by then.

He needs to make nine more appearances for Celtic to qualify for a winner's medal on his debut season.

And, if his previous club, Wolves, can maintain the charge which has taken them to the top of English League One, he had also played more than enough matches for them - and scored 13 goals in the process - prior to his January departure to be due a medal for that campaign, too.

But, medal or not, Griffiths just wants to help the Hoops get over the line as quickly as possible, and Friday's game at Kilmarnock can take them three points closer.

With nearest challengers, Aberdeen, engaged in League Cup final duty, the opportunity is there to stretch their lead to 24 points, and Griffiths said: "Hopefully, we can put in another performance like we did against Inverness and come away with the win."

Football

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