LEIGH GRIFITHS reckons the return of Scott Sinclair will play a key role as Celtic prepare to keep their unbeaten domestic record intact when they face Partick Thistle at Parkhead this evening.
The 27-year-old winger made his comeback from injury with a second-half sub’s appearance in the 2-1 win over Dundee at the weekend.
Griffiths said: “Scotty has been brilliant for us since he first arrived here. He just brings so much. He can score, he can set goals up, he works so hard on that flank and he can see an opening for a pass as well.
“I know he is chomping at the bit to get back into the starting XI and pick up where he left off. He was unlucky with the injury – I know a wee bit about that myself – and he was gutted when he was out.
“He got a good half-hour against Dundee and I don’t think he the type of guy who needs much game time to get back to his optimum level, so that is good news for us.
“He can take defenders on and I do think that we can complement one another because one of the strengths of my game is in getting in behind defences and he is definitely the type of player that can see that.
“I can make space for him or myself, but, for me, he would be one of the guys right up there this season as a player of the season for us, although it says so much about the team that there are a number of players who fall into that category.”
Griffiths has now scored three goals in as many games, but admitted candidly: “My performances need to improve a wee bit. It is not just about scoring goals, there are other things that the manager is looking for, too, and I want to try and bring them into my game, as well.
“That can be difficult sometimes when you are playing against teams with a lot of men behind the ball, but so long as I am scoring goals and working hard I think that I have a good chance of keeping my place in the team.
“No-one wants to be on the bench and, having got back in, I want to stay in. That depends on the manager, who has been brilliant with me from day one.
“I just want to keep my head down and keep trying to do a big job for this team.”
The Hoops face the Firhill side tonight for the second time in 11 days.
Griffiths started the champions’ 4-1 win in Maryhill and set up two strikes for Stuart Armstrong while collecting one for himself.
He said: “We’ll know what kind of game we are in for. Thistle will play against us the way that Hamilton did and they will come here to try to frustrate us.
“It can be more open for us when we are away from home because teams come out and attack us a bit more.”
Celtic have dropped just two points so far in this league campaign – Inverness Caley Thistle’s stoppage-time leveller in the 2-2 draw spoiled the perfect record – with Brendan Rodgers’ side on a 20-game unbeaten run.
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