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GRIFFITHS’ TWIN AIM

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LEIGH GRIFFITHS has targeted a place in Alex McLeish’s Scotland plans for the summer tour of Peru and Mexico.

The Celtic striker, only three goals short of 100 for the Hoops, wants to make up for lost time after sitting out two months with a persistent calf injury.

Griffiths is in contention for a place in Brendan Rodgers’ starting line-up for the Premiership clash against Dundee at Parkhead tonight after making an appearance as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 win over 10-man Ross County at the weekend.

During his lengthy lay-off, the international frontman sought advice from a specialist in England and said: “He identified straight away where it was coming from and how we can rectify that.

“It is all to do with my hips. The muscle tissue was so blocked that my calves and my hamstrings were doing double the workload.

“I wasn’t getting the full range of my movement. Hopefully, now that has been released and the muscles are flowing again, I will be back sharper with more movement.”

Griffiths is aiming for his century and admitted: “Hopefully, I have got 10 games to go to reach that goal mark.

“If I get a good run in the team, I’ll have time to hit that before the end of the season.

“Being fully fit, you don’t want to miss out on games. Three of us are vying for one position. At times, we have gone two up front, but mostly it’s one.

“I’m selfish. I’m a striker. I want to score goals and be in the team, but it’s up to the manager and whoever gets the starting slot will be deserving of it.

“It is an exciting part of the season to be involved in. The semi-final against Rangers is going to be massive for us, but we need to win our next two league games before that to put us in good stead for the title.”

CHEERS…Leigh Griffiths wants to cap Celtic return with a Scotland call-up.

Griffiths also has his eyes on the Scotland trip and added: “That is my aim. With the amount of football I have missed this season, I don’t think it would be a problem to get the extra minutes under my belt.

“Obviously, they are two difficult games, but they are exciting ones, as well.

“The travelling is a bit of a nightmare, but I would be able to come back and still get a decent rest before we start pre-season.

“I have not spoken to Alex McLeish or my manager here about it. As the season draws closer to an end, hopefully we will sit down and have a chat.

“If Mr McLeish got on the phone to me and explained he was wanting me for the summer friendlies and that I was going to get game time, I’d be delighted to go.”

The Scots are due to play Peru in Lima on May 29 and Mexico in the Azteca Stadium on June 2.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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