LEIGH GRIFFTHS had admitted Celtic did not want another season without a regular Old Firm match - but insisted Rangers only have themselves to blame for their dire situation.


The Parkhead striker was relishing the return of the derby until Rangers blew their promotion hopes by crashing 6-1 on aggregate to Motherwell in the play-off final.

But he is adamant the Fir Park outfit deserve to retain their top-flight status - because ultimately Stuart McCall's side are not good enough to be in the Premiership.

Griffiths, who scored in his side's win at Hampden in the League Cup semi-final win over Rangers in February, said: "As a Celtic fan, you do always want Old Firm games.

"But you have to earn the right to be in the top league and obviously they haven't done that over the course of the season and then they were beaten in the play-off.

"It is disappointing, but over the two legs Motherwell showed why they are still in the Premiership and Rangers aren't.

"We can only beat who is in front of us, whether it was Rangers or Motherwell. It is Motherwell now, we congratulate them and we will see them next season.

"We have won the league the last four years and we are looking to do the same next year.

"There will be stern tests from Aberdeen, Dundee United, Inverness, but it is all about what we do and if we go out and play to our maximum we will win the league."

Griffiths watched both play-off matches and, not surprisingly, he believed the best team by some distance won the final.

And he reckons the fall-out from the incredible scenes at the end of the game should not take away from the performance of the Fir Park men.

He said: "I think everyone is overlooking how Motherwell played. They won at Ibrox for the first time in something like 20 year. They showed real grit and determination to get a result there, and they just had to finish off the job on Sunday, which they did.

"I just think over the two games Motherwell deservedly got the right result. They created chances and maybe luck wasn't on Rangers' side. You have to congratulate Motherwell and we will look forward to playing them next season."

And Griffiths added: "How far are Rangers from challenging? That's not for me to say. They will be active in the summer, getting players in and letting players go, but it's Motherwell who are up and they are not.

"I watched the games on Thursday and Sunday, but that's it. I don't keep tabs at what is happening at Rangers. I don't really look at what is happening on the other side of Glasgow. I am fully focussed on what is happening at Celtic Park.

"If there is football on the TV, I will watch it. Whether it's Rangers or East Fife."