CELTIC hero John Hartson insists Leigh Griffiths should see the £3.5million arrival of Polish striker Patryk Klimala as “a challenge” and respond to it in the best way possible.

The 29-year-old Scotland international has struggled for goals this season with only three strikes to his name.

Griffiths, who missed a chunk of the previous campaign due to personal issues and hit only six goals in a troubled term.

He has started only one game since – the 2-0 loss in Romania to Cluj in the largely-meaningless Europa League Group E encounter – since November.

Hartson, the former fans’ favourite, told BBC Scotland Sportsound: “If you’re Leigh Griffiths, you see it as a challenge,.

“You want to stay and prove you can still do it at this level. He’s been pivotal to Celtic’s success in recent years.”

Neil Lennon overlooked Griffiths in last month’s Betfred League Cup success over Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side when he decided to go with Lewis Morgan up front with Odsonne Edouard not risked to start the game as he recovered from injury.

Hartson continued: “Leigh is a goalscorer.

“It will be interesting to see whether there are whispers that he’s really not happy, wants to move, wants more game time, or can Neil persuade him and say there are still opportunities and he still has a major part to play.

“When you’ve got too many players fighting for a certain position, you are going to get one or two unhappy.

“That’s when the manager is very important by still keeping them hungry and when they do get that chance, they make sure they are ready.”

The Welsh international legend wants to see his old club continue to bolster their squad in the January window as their quest for nine in a row.

Hartson added: “Klimala is unknown. He looks quick, but I’d be lying if I said he’s fantastic. It’s a great opportunity for him, but I still feel they need a couple more.

“They’re certainly not walking this league. Most fans have had a wake-up call, they’re wanting Celtic to come back refreshed, hungry and realise what’s at stake may never happen in these players’ careers again.”

The Hoops will face Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup at Firhill on Saturday before kick-starting the Premiership programme with a match against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park four days later.


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