NEIL LENNON is poised to give Leigh Griffiths the green light to face Motherwell at Fir Park this afternoon.

The 30-year-old striker has been caught up in a heated exchange with former Hoops frontman Chris Sutton since the team’s disastrous display in the 4-1 nosedive against Sparta Prague in Europa League Group H which almost certainly killed off any hopes of progress on this front after the turn of the year.

Griffiths came on for Mohamed Elyounoussi on the hour mark and scored five minutes later to make the score 2-1 and throw his side a lifeline. However, calamitous defending allowed the visitors to score another two goals in one of the club’s most lamentable performances in Europe in history.

Sutton criticised the hitman’s lack of fitness live on air in his guise as a BT Sport match analyst only minutes after the final whistle.

However, Lennon is backing his player in the verbal spat with his ex-team-mate.

The Hoops boss, speaking to the Sunday Mail, said: “Pundits are pundits and Chris is no different to anyone else.

“But whether I agree with him or not is another thing and I’m pretty sure Leigh can hold his own with anybody.

“Leigh has our full backing. He scored in the game when he came on against Sparta Prague. And in terms of his contribution I was really pleased with him.

“He’s getting close to starting games again. He started against AC Milan a few weeks ago and didn’t last the course.

“But the way we are using him right now is beneficial for both sides, for Leigh and the team.

“It’s a possibility that he’ll start against Motherwell.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Motherwell v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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