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‘I KEEP SHUTTING PEOPLE UP,’ GRIFFITHS

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LEIGH GRIFFITHS came off the subs’ bench to score Celtic’s dramatic late winner against Rosenborg in the opening game of Europa League Group B at Parkhead last night.

The tie was heading for a scoreless stalemate when the 28-year-old made a timely intervention with a slick header in the 87th minute.

Griffiths, who signed a new four-year deal at the Hoops a week ago, insisted he had nothing to prove to anyone.

He said: “I’ve done it for years. I don’t know why people keep doubting me and say I can’t score goals in the big occasions.

“I’ve done it in the Champions League, the Europa League, the League Cup, the Scottish Cup and the league.

“There are still people out there doubting me and saying that I can’t do this and that. But I keep shutting people up.

“As a forward, it’s always going to be based on scoring goals. I’m judged on how I play on the park and how many goals I score.

“Ultimately, it’s about getting three points for the team and that’s what I’m good at.”

 

A STRIKING PROBLEM…Odsonne Edouard has kept Leigh Griffiths on subs’ bench for past three games.

Griffiths, who has started the last three games against Rangers, St Mirren and the Norwegians, added: “I don’t think there is going to be a designated No1 striker.

“I think the manager and will chop and change who he goes with depending on the opponent.

“Regardless of anything, I need to keep working hard in training and do my job, so that when I come on from the bench or start games, I need to put in performances.

“The manager isn’t having a go at me. He just said that the game is evolving and that strikers are doing more running and tracking back.

“I don’t have to prove anything. He sees me day in day out. He knows how hard I work on and off the park.

“When I come on, I try and make an impact to keep myself in the starting 11.”

Boss Brendan Rodgers now has a choice to make between Griffiths and £9million French frontman Odsonne Edouard against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday.

The former Paris Saint-Germain forward looked out of sorts last night and rarely threatened the Rosenborg goal. Two opportunities came his way in the first-half, but he lashed the first one waywardly over the bar and he looked a little slow in responding to another opening after keeper Andre Hansen had pushed out a shot from Tom Rogic.

Goals have been in short supply against Steve Clarke’s side in recent games and the Hoops fired blanks in the final outing in Ayrshire in the previous campaign when Youssouf Mulumbu, now at Parkhead, netted the encounter’s only goal.

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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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