JAMES McPAKE is ready to unleash Leigh Griffiths on his former club Livingston at Dens Park tomorrow afternoon.

The 31-year-old striker, who has agreed a season-long loan deal with Dundee, has already impressed since arriving on deadline day for his second stint with the Tayside club.

Griffiths has failed to spark at the Hoops in the past three years with a total of only 25 goals while being dogged by personal issues as well as a lack of form and fitness.

However, McPake, a former team-mate at Livi and Hibs, is considering giving the former Scotland international hitman a quickfire debut.

The Dens gaffer said: “He is scoring a lot of goals on the training pitch, that is a given.

“In the bounce game he got a goal which wasn’t a surprise, it was his first touch.

“I am enjoying working with him. I only knew him as a player in the same team and now coaching him I see how he has developed his game, which is excellent.”

McPake, speaking to the Scottish Sun, added: “You don’t have the career he has had without learning.

“He has worked with people like Brendan Rodgers, Gordon Strachan and Neil Lennon, some really good managers, and all those managers have made him a more rounded player.

“At Hibs, he was just a really serious goalscorer, a good player, but now I think he can take the ball in and do a lot more than when at Hibs when there were parts of his game he needed to develop.

“He has developed them and that’s why he has played for his country and won so many titles at Celtic.

“It is good working with him and seeing that.”

Griffiths has fired in an incredible 123 goals for Celtic since Neil Lennon bought him first time around from Wolves for £1.2million in January 2014.

However, his fortunes dipped alarmingly over the past three seasons, but he sees his temporary switch to the Dens Park club as a lifeline.


About Author


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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