LEIGH GRIFFITHS has explained why he made a beeline to celebrate with Brendan Rodgers after hitting the only goal of Celtic’s Betfred League Cup quarter-final triumph over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park in midweek.
The striker wanted to emphasise there is unity at Parkhead, despite outrageous and unsubstantiated claims from elsewhere.
Griffiths also reacted to the revelation the champions’ boss had rejected a big-money move to China in the summer.
The 103-goal Hoops hitman said: “If you get an offer from China, I’m guessing it would be big bucks.
“But you know the gaffer’s love for the club, the way he wants to do things and the way he goes about his business.
“There’s always going to be talk about him, but we have shown we’re unified, we’re together fighting for the same cause and we have three trophies to defend this season. We want to go on and win them again.
BY THE RIGHT…Leigh Griffiths slams in the winner against Saints in midweek.
“Running to the manager was a show of unity. There has been a lot of talk this week about a divide in the camp.
“We wanted to show everyone we’re still united, we’re still fighting for the same cause and we are together as one.
“People are always going to talk, especially when we get a bad result, but it’s how we come back and that boys have that bouncebackability to go and show why we’re a top team.
“We might not always play the best football, but we’ll always show our character and we got a win and a clean sheet.
“Everyone loses games. All right, the manner of the loss against Kilmarnock last Sunday wasn’t great.
“Then it starts that we’re boring and this and that. I guarantee you the people who say that don’t play good football every week.
“They’ll want to win ugly games. It wasn’t pretty at times at Perth, but you have to grind out the win.”
Griffiths remarked: “It’s always nice to win. It was difficult at Rugby Park, but we came back with another win and another clean sheet. That gives us another trip to a semi-final.
“Hearts will be a difficult game. They are doing well and are top of the league.
“They have shown why they are top by being a good side, but we’ve always showed our qualities in semi-finals and we’ll need to again.
“We won’t batter teams 6-0 and 7-0 every week. However, if you ask the manager, he’ll take 1-0 every single week as long as we keep winning.”
YOUNG BHOY…Odsonne Edouard is praised by Griffiths. Pics: Geo.
Griffiths, 28, who has scored all Celtic’s goals in the last three games against Rosenborg, Kilmarnock and St Johnstone, is likely to lead the attack against Aberdeen at Parkhead tomorrow.
Gaffer Rodgers started him alongside £9million man Odsonne Edouard in Perth for the first time and the Scotland international attacker added: “Hopefully, that’s a partnership going forward.
“You see the big man’s qualities. He can make space, he gets the ball and drives at folk and he’s a real threat. As a striker, you are always going to be under the cosh, especially if you are not scoring.
“But the big man works tirelessly in games and in training. He’s a huge talent and people have seen what he can produce. Folk have to remember he is only 20 years old. But he has all the talent in the world.
“I don’t think there is a designated No 1 striker at the club. As a striker, you want to be selfish, you want to play, you want to score goals, but it’s entirely up to the manager who he selects and what formation he wants to go with.
“If myself and Odsonne can fit into that team, that’s great.
“If not, one of us will be chomping at the bit to get into the side.”