| 12.1°C Dublin

Deila knows importance of making sure Griffiths is fit


Celtic's Leigh Griffiths. Photo: Craig Watson/PA.

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths. Photo: Craig Watson/PA.

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths. Photo: Craig Watson/PA.

Ronny Deila is hoping to keep Leigh Griffiths fit for the rest of Celtic's season after he again showed his worth at the weekend with the winner against Partick Thistle.

The 25-year-old striker returned as a half-time substitute after missing four games with a calf complaint as the home side toiled in their Scottish Premiership clash with the Jags.

Griffiths scored in the last minute of normal time with his 20th goal of the season to take the Hoops three points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the table.

As he prepared for the William Hill Scottish Cup tie at Stranraer on Sunday, boss Deila acknowledged the importance of having the in-form Scotland striker available for the remainder of the campaign.

"I'm happy," the Norwegian told the club's official website. "We just have to do everything right to keep him injury-free for the rest of the season.

"Hopefully he'll be 100 per cent for the match at the weekend against Stranraer.

"He's never really been out with injury but he does everything he can.

"We have taken it slow because he needed to rest so now we need to be careful."

Championship outfit Leeds apparently want to sign out-of-favour striker Anthony Stokes in this transfer window.

The 27-year-old is struggling for playing time at Celtic and is unlikely to feature in too many games for the SPL giants during the second half of the season. The Irishman has been on the books of the Bhoys since 2010 and has a contract until June 2017.

Leeds are looking for a striker at the moment in order to boost their chances of a top-six finish in the Championship.