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McGREGOR BACKS GRIFF TO HAVE FINAL SAY

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CALLUM McGREGOR is convinced comeback Bhoy Leigh Griffiths will be a big noise in Celtic’s quest for nine in a row.

The striker scored his first goal in five months in the Hoops’ 2-1 Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle at Firhill on Saturday night.

Midfielder McGregor chipped in with the second-half effort that turned out to be the winner against the Championship outfit and the holders will now face Clyde in Cumbernauld in the next round in February.

The Scotland international anchorman admitted he is delighted to have Griifiths back firing in the first team.

The frontman, who has missed a chunk of the last 13 months with personal issues, injuries, loss of form and confidence, stuck his fingers in his ears as a clear message to those who doubt his qualities and have insisted his Parkhead career is over with the £3.5million arrival of Polish forward Patryk Klimala.

McGregor, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “We were all pleased for Leigh.

“He has been working hard to get back to full fitness, so it was great to see him starting and scoring.

“Everyone knows the quality he has – when he gets a chance you expect him to score – so the goal will help him. Having Leigh available is like having a new player.

“If we can get him back to his previous heights then that will be a massive bonus for us and him. His pedigree speaks for itself, so it’s down to Leigh and also the rest of the players here to help him recover his sharpness.

“But he looked good at Firhill and, hopefully, he’s ready to play a big part for us and Scotland for the remainder of the campaign.

“He’s ready to go and is hungry because he has missed a lot of football. It’s important for everyone that we get him back to playing week in, week out.

“At a club like this, you need someone at the top end of the pitch who’ll score the goals. Odsonne Edouard has shouldered the responsibility for most of this season and you need to remember he’s still a young guy.

“However, if Leigh is back and scoring goals – and Patryk has looked impressive from what we’ve seen of him – that should help us spread the goals around because you need some options up front.”

Neil Lennon now has the happy problem of having Edouard, Griffiths and Klimala all vying for positions in his frontline as he prepares for tomorrow night’s visit to Rugby Park to take on Kilmarnock as the Premiership resumes.

 

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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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