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‘DAFT BHOY AT TIMES, BUT GRIFF WON’T LET YOU DOWN’

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LEIGH GRIFFITHS may be a daft Bhoy at times, but he won’t let Celtic down if he plays in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final showdown with Sevco Rangers.

That’s the view of former Hoops and Scotland boss Gordon Strachan who backs the 27-year-old striker to produce the goods at Hampden.

Griffiths has tied scarves to goalposts and last month, following Brendan Rodgers’ side’s dramatic 3-2 win at Ibrox, waved the Irish flag from the stand as he sat among visiting fans.

But Strachan insisted: “When people talk about players improving, they often get unfairly treated. People say they’re not this and they’re not that, they’re not very clever.

“But you need to have a reasonable amount of intelligence to take things in and there’s no doubt Leigh’s taken things in from managers over the last three or four years that have made him a better player.

“He’s daft at times, but you wouldn’t change him. He’s not done me any harm when I worked with him.

“He added to the energy about the place, the humour and the fact I can watch him score wonderful goals. He’s not done any managers harm. He may do silly things, but I can’t recall anything that’s affected anyone long term.

“In terms of defending set-plays and attacking set-plays, you lose a bit of height, but in free play, when the ball goes in the box, he’s good in the air.

“You need to be brave to do that. Wee guys are likely to take a knock when you’re going up that high, so he’s come on brilliantly in that regard. Big games, they might go for power, but Griff gives you something else.

“When you play him, you’re guaranteed four shots a game, unless you’re playing someone exceptional like Barcelona.

“But in league games and Europa League games, you get four attempts at goal from him. There’s something about him, he’s sharp. Everything he does it’s quick. It’s always done quickly. You see him, he’s gone.”

Strachan also believes Rodgers and his players have performed well this season and doesn’t agree his old team have taken a backward step.

He added: “It’s not been easy this year. Moussa Dembele and Griff have been injured and last year anything that went into the box was going into the net.

“Teams have made it hard for Celtic to produce and it’s not often you get four, five or six players on fire in a season. For different reasons, it’s not materialised this year. but they’re lucky enough to have people such as Callum McGregor and James Forrest who have taken up the mantle.

“When you win things, you want even more of it and the fear of not having it keeps you going.”

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