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Griffiths plans to be fitter and leaner for return


SHARPER: Leigh Griffiths. Photo: PA

SHARPER: Leigh Griffiths. Photo: PA

SHARPER: Leigh Griffiths. Photo: PA

Leigh Griffiths has vowed to come back leaner and meaner once Celtic re-emerge from the coronavirus shutdown.

The Hoops striker has battled his way back into Neil Lennon's Parkhead line-up following a difficult period off the pitch.

Lennon has found a way to accommodate both Griffiths and top-scorer Odsonne Edouard in his team and the Scotland international has pulled his weight in the final third, contributing eight goals since Celtic returned from the winter break.

He even bagged a hat-trick against St Mirren before the Scottish Premiership campaign was put on hold in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

But the 29-year-old reckons he can become even more effective by shedding some pounds as he looks to put 18 months of frustration behind him.

"I feel there's more to come from me," Griffiths said. "I can still get fitter and sharper so that's what I'm working on for now. I'm back in the team and helping the side get three points was massive. To top that off with a hat-trick against Saints was brilliant. It wasn't about my goals or my performance, though. It was about the whole team performance, which was brilliant."

"The manager hasn't had to say much to me. I know I can get a bit leaner and fitter so I'm working on that now. You never want to be told that you need to be a bit sharper.

"You want that to be concrete but if you've been told something, and they can see room for improvement, you have to get that done.

"Seeing the improvement in all the different areas means more positivity and that's only good so it gives you more motivation to keep working hard."

Celtic - 13 points clear at the top - will have to wait for the green light from the Scottish Professional Football League to resume their march towards a historic ninth straight title.

Their grip on the Scottish crown appeared to be slipping when they lost December's Old Firm clash, allowing Rangers to close to within two points having played a game less.

But Griffiths explained how the Hoops hit the reset button during their January break in Dubai. "The chat we had in Dubai was a turning point for not just me but the whole team," said Griffiths.

"We talked about the run of form we had to hit to make sure we were top of the league, and everyone can see we've been outstanding since we came back.

"We've not been beaten domestically and we've only dropped two points. I'm looking forward to making more strides forward in the coming months. The week in Dubai was great so a full pre-season will help me hit my peak."