TROUBLED Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has thanked everyone who has offered him support as he prepares to take some time out of football to deal with ongoing personal issues, as CQN reported yesterday.

The 28-year-old Scotland international forward has also vowed to come back as a “better and stronger” person when he makes his return to the game.

Griffiths received goodwill messages from across Scottish football after Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed the player was taking time off to get professional assistance.

Scots team manager Alex McLeish and former teams Hibs and Livingston were among those offering support.

In a short statement released by the club today, the prolific hitman sent a message of gratitude for the support he has already been shown so overwhelmingly.

WHAM…Leigh Griffiths shows that glorious finishing touch with a free-kick against Hamilton Accies last month.

He said: “I just wanted to thank everyone at the club and so many Celtic fans and other people who have sent me such kind and powerful messages of support.

“I thank you all sincerely and want to let you know I’m doing all I can to come back as soon as possible, a better and stronger person.”

Rodgers confirmed Griffith’s absence from action at a press conference ahead of this evening’s final Europa League Group B clash against RB Salzburg at Parkhead where a point will guarantee European football for the team after the turn of the year.

Griffiths scored his 100th goal for Celtic earlier in the campaign with a trademark free-kick in the 3-0 win over FK Suduva in a qualifier in the east end of Glasgow in August.

He claimed his sixth strike of the campaign when he came on as a substitute against Hamilton Accies last month when he lashed home another deadball effort in a 3-0 triumph.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report on Celtic’s crucial Europa League Group B encounter tonight in your champion CQN.

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