Thursday 26 April 2018

Griffiths in airport clash as Celtic head for Rosenborg tie

Rosenborg v Celtic, Live, eirSport 2, 7.45

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths. Photo: PA
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths. Photo: PA

Jamie Holland

Leigh Griffiths and Erik Sviatchenko have been included in Celtic's squad for the second leg of their Champions League qualifier against Rosenborg in Norway tonight.

The pair, who were both injured for the first leg, although Griffiths was also suspended, trained with their team-mates at Lennoxtown yesterday morning before checking in at Glasgow Airport for the flight to Trondheim.

Celtic are likely to review their travel arrangements after Griffiths appeared to be verbally abused at the airport.

A holidaymaker appeared to shout an obscenity at the striker as the players queued for their boarding passes and Griffiths was heard to say, "you're team's deid (dead) mate, beat it."

There were also suggestions that Griffiths was then accosted as he made his way to the security gates on the next level.

Griffiths is expected to play some part at the Lerkendal Stadion, although he is not certain to start.

Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies said: "Leigh will be travelling with us. He has been working hard to get back."

With Moussa Dembele ruled out for several weeks with a hamstring injury, Celtic played without a recognised striker in the first leg of the third qualifying-round tie, which ended scoreless.

Leaders

Midfielder Tom Rogic played the 'false nine' position against the Eliteserien leaders but without success and manager Brendan Rodgers utilised winger James Forrest up front in a 5-0 friendly win over Sunderland last Saturday. Scott Sinclair has also played through the middle for Celtic, who were second best for long periods of the first leg.

Meanwhille, Hearts have sacked head coach Ian Cathro four days before they play Celtic in the Premiership following their failure to reach the second round of the Betfred Cup in which they finished behind Dunfermline and Peterhead in their group.

Cathro's appointment last December was viewed as innovative but risky and Hearts decided to cut their losses after an unrelenting run of poor results.

Hearts were three points above Aberdeen in third when Cathro took over following the departure of Robbie Neilson to MK Dons but finished 30 points behind the Pittodrie club and failed to qualify for Europe.

The 31-year-old won just six of his 26 matches in charge last season and a Scottish Cup defeat by Hibernian piled on the pressure.

The club had hoped a transfer window and pre-season would transform the situation after six of their eight winter signings departed at the end of the season.

Irish Independent

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