RONNY DEILA insists the £1.3million arrival of Nadir Ciftci will inspire Leigh Griffiths.
And the Celtic boss believes the competition will help the Scotland international overtake last season’s 20-goal haul.
Deila watched Griffiths net a hat-trick in the 4-1 win over Spanish top-flight outfit Eibar as they prepared for the second leg of their Champions League tie against Stjarnan in Reykjavik on Wednesday night.
The Hoops gaffer said: “Leigh got three goals and an assist, so you can’t ask for much more. You shouldn’t need competition to raise your game, but sometimes it helps.
“We want to get the best out of Leigh. He works hard now and he’ll be better than he was last year. I’m sure of that.“
Griffiths opened his account with a penalty, although it wasn’t without a repeat of the drama which angered Deila in midweek.
This time it was second-half substitute Anthony Stokes, on for Ciftci, who wanted to take the spot-kick the striker earned his side.
But Deila said: “I think sometimes when you make your own penalty, you don’t want to take it, as well.
“I don’t think it will happen again. Leigh WAS due to take the penalties.
“Sometimes you can make a choice not to, but you don’t argue.”
Deila was satisfied with the work-out against the Spanish side celebrating their 75th anniversary.
He admitted: “They had good physical players, but we were physical, too. It was good. We wanted to use this game as a good pre-season match.”
The Hoops have no injury worries ahead of Wednesday night.
Craig Gordon, Stefan Johansen and Mikael Lustig were all rested and Gary Mackay-Steven missed out after injuring himself in the warm up in midweek.
Belgian keeper Logan Bailly made his debut and capped a fine performance with an excellent first-half penalty save when the game was goalless.