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LENNON SLAMS GRIFFITHS: ‘HE’S LET US DOWN’ 

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A FURIOUS Neil Lennon has blasted Leigh Griffiths and accused the striker of letting Celtic and his team-mates down.

The Hoops boss left the 29-year-old Scotland international to train on his own at Lennoxtown while he took his squad to France for three warm-up games as the champions prepare for a massive season.

The club have a historic tenth successive title in their sights and Lennon has stressed the importance of his players remaining focused as they get ready for the Premiership kick-off against Hamilton Accies at Parkhead on Sunday, August 2.

However, Griffiths is highly unlikely to play any part in the opening weeks of the campaign after his manager accused him of putting on weight during the lockdown and the Irishman also criticised his social media “nonsense”.

Lennon watched Patryk Klimala, bought for £3.5million in January, score his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw with Nice in Lyon last night.

After the match, the Bhoys boss turned his attention to the absent Griffiths and, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “I’m not happy. I think that’s fairly obvious by the fact that we’ve left him behind.

“He’s come back out of condition and overweight. Any physical work we asked him to do, he was coming out of saying he was injured. That’s going to be the case because he’s out of condition.

“It would have been absolutely pointless bringing him with us. We had an extensive week in Loughborough and he wouldn’t have been fit to play the games here. The ball is firmly in his court in terms of getting in the right condition.

“He needs to stop all the social media nonsense with all these slogans he puts out there.

“The boys here are all top professionals and I have a great staff who are all professional as well. They deserve better and he should know better.

“If he wants to have a future here at the club, it’s down to himself. We’re not prepared to do a lot more for him. Everything’s there for him. He’s let himself down and he’s let us down.”

Griffiths has been with Celtic since 2014 after Lennon bought him from Wolves for £1million and has scored 84 goals in 151 league appearances.

The Hoops now face Lyon tomorrow evening before completing the tour with a friendly in the French capital against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

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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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