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‘YES, I’VE MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES,’ ADMITS CELTIC REJECT

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LEIGH GRIFFITHS is in limbo as he searches for a new club.

The former Celtic and Scotland international striker has issued a plea to managers to give him a chance after a year of turmoil.

Ange Postecoglou activated the 12-month option on Griffiths’ contract at the end of June last year, but the frontman played a mere 45 minutes in the friendly against West Ham at Parkhead the following month before being loaned to Dundee.

After only three goals in 17 appearances, the once-prolific hitman was returned early from his temporary transfer by the Dens Park club who were not impressed by the efforts of the frontman who will be 32 next month.

THE GOOD OLD DAYS…Leigh Griffiths celebrates one of his hat-trick in Celtic’s 5-0 win over St Mirren at Parkhead in March 2020.

The champions-in-waiting scrapped Griffiths’ deal in January, paid up the remaining six months of his terms and the 22 times-capped forward was cut adrift after collecting 123 goals in eight years at the club following his £1.2million arrival from Wolves in January 2014.

Third-tier Falkirk made him an offer in February – believed to be in the region of £1,500 per week – to help them in their drive towards a Championship promotion play-off place, but he delivered only two strikes in 12 outings as the club failed in their quest.

However, a defiant Griffiths claimed: “I can still cut it at the highest level, I still fully believe that, and it’s about getting my chance to prove myself again.

“There’ll be split opinions on whether my career is finished. I need to try and prove myself to people who keep doubting me and it seems nowadays that there’s more and more.

“A lot of things have happened over the past couple of years and clubs might not want to be associated with me, but I’m just working as tirelessly as I can to get myself in the best shape.”

Griffiths refused to rule out a move abroad with team bosses in Scotland possibly reluctant to take him on board.

DOWN AND OUT…Leigh Griffiths rues a miss while playing for Celtic.

The player, speaking to BBC Sportsound, continued: “A manager has got to take a chance and whether that’s a chance they want to take or not is entirely up to them.

“As soon as a manager phones me or my agent up, they’ll see that I’m fully focused, they’ll see I’m ready to hit the ground running wherever I go.

“My confidence is lower than a snake’s belly at the minute and that’s because I’m seeing everybody going back to pre-season, playing games, training and being back amongst changing rooms – and for me I’m doing my work myself in the gym and then going home.

“When I get a club, hopefully my confidence comes back and, when my confidence is at the top of its game, that’s when you’ll see the best of me.

“I’m being taught a lesson. You can’t take anything for granted, especially in the football world. One minute, I’m at Celtic playing well and winning trophies and the next I’m finishing fifth in League 1.”

DUNDEE GLEE…Leigh Griffiths celebrates one of his three goals for the Dens Park side – this one coming against Aberdeen.

Griffiths claims a lot of people do not wish to see him play again and hands great cedit to his agent for keeping him going to get back into the thick of the action.

He added: “If I didn’t have him backing me up, saying that he’s working hard to find me the right club, I wouldn’t have it, I’d probably end up retiring.

“It’s difficult, a lot of people don’t want me to play football, but I’ve got a family to provide for, I still want to play football, I still enjoy doing it.

“Yes, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my time, but I’m still a human being at the end of the day. I still fully believe I’ll get there.”

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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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