FORMER Celtic and Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths hopes to be a knock-out when he returns to the game.
The 31-year-old frontman, who claimed 123 goals in an eight-year career at the Hoops, is on the look-out for a new club.
Ange Postecoglou activated a 12-month option at the end of June last year, but Griffiths did not kick a ball in competitive action for the new Parkhead boss and was loaned to Dundee just before the close of the summer transfer window.
However, the return to Dens Park was not a success for the attacker and his temporary transfer was cut short at the turn of the year with the Tayside heading for eventual relegation.
BRIGHT LIGHTS…Leigh Griffiths celebrates one of his hat-trick in Celtic’s 5-0 win over St Mirren at Parkhead on March 7 2020 – the last game before football went into Covid cold storage.
Celtic paid the final six months of his contract as they scrapped his deal and he was snapped up by third-tier Falkirk in their vain bid to reach the Championship play-off places.
Now the free agent hopes he is boxing clever as he attempts to get his career back on track.
A summer of gym sessions has given the player hope and he insisted a strict boxing regime has geared him up for the challenges that are ahead.
Griffiths said: “It’s a difficult time just now as I see clubs going back for pre-season and wonder when is it going to be my turn.
“I’m not going to lie, it gets lonely. It knocks my confidence not having my future sorted, but people such as Martin Clifford at the boxing gym have been brilliant at keeping my head above water. Six days a week I’m in training and all of this work will come to the fore when I get back onto the pitch.
DUNDEE GLEE…Leigh Griffiths celebrates a rare goal for the Tayside outfit against Aberdeen in December.
“I’m ready to go, but when is that chance going to come, is it going to come? Some of the sessions Martin puts on are absolutely brutal. I don’t envy any boxer who does this work to prepare for a fight as it’s so intense. Boxers are a different breed and footballers get it easy compared to them.”
Griffiths, speaking to the Sunday Mail, added: “I wish I’d done this type of training earlier in my career and if I’d done more in the off-season I wouldn’t be in this position.
“I’m now a free agent and, hopefully, I’ll be back scoring goals shortly.
“People can hate me or not hate me, but what they can’t take away is where I sit in the all-time scoring chart at Celtic which is 18th or 19th.
“That’s something I will have forever, but I still have plenty more goals and targets ahead of me.”