Goal, Glory, Confession, Griffiths, “in a nutshell” – “I let myself down, my club down. I let everybody down”

“That was Leigh in a nutshell,” Lennon said after the dramatic events in the closing minutes at McDiarmid Park yesterday afternoon. “I know what I have got with him. I was disappointed with the way he came back (from pre-season) and then he picked up an injury.

“We’ve been patient with him but he knows what I think of him as a player. We don’t take that for granted with him, but that’s a great start to his season,” the Celtic manager told BBC Scotland after Celtic’s 2-0 victory.

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Griffiths himself was being extremely frank, admitting that he’d let everyone associated with Celtic down badly by reporting back for pre-season training overweight and out of condition.

“I let myself down, my club down. I let everybody down,” the Celtic No.9 admitted, as reported by Scottish Sun. “Did I think my time was up at Celtic? No.

“I spoke to the gaffer at length many times and he always said that as long as he is here I will be here. I need to keep working on my fitness and make sure that when I am called upon I make an impact.

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“Hopefully I will do well in the next few games and start repaying them. Of course it has been a difficult time but I have been working away trying to get my fitness back up.

“It was a blow, but it was my own fault and I had to take it on the chin. When the team was away I had worked hard to make sure I was still in the plans when I came back.

“I did that and managed to force my way back into the squad. Unfortunately for me I got injured just before the Hamilton game, which wasn’t ideal, and then it is one of those things.

“I have been working ever so hard to get back. It’s unfortunate that Albian Ajeti got injured and gave me my chance to come back in. I took it and now I need to build on it.

“I managed to get on the bench the last three games now, so I have done myself no harm.”

Neil Lennon was forced to look to his bench for five substitutes to turn the depressing prospect of a stalemate in Perth into a fabulous, dramatic late victory, you know that kind of wins that you remember most when the league is won. Think Broony’s goal down at Kilmarnock two seasons ago or the Captain’s winner in stoppage time against Hamilton last December. Yesterday was very much in that bracket.

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“I’ve got a chance over the next two weeks to get my fitness up to the same level as the boys, come back and kick on. But it’s not about me, it is about the team getting three points and carrying that momentum on into the international break.

“It wasn’t just me who made an impact. It was Patryk, Tom, Broony and Ryan, they all made a contribution.

“We’ve got four great strikers here. Patryk came on and scored today and Odsonne Edouard scored in midweek. Albian was on fire before he got injured. We’ve got four great strikers looking to play a part in every single game.

“Competition for places is good and we want to keep that going. We knew St Johnstone were going to make it hard and try to hit us on the counter-attack.

“But it was about us trying to break that down and unfortunately for us it took until the 90th minute to get the ball in the net.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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