LEIGH GRIFFITHS admitted it was “great to be back” after scoring on his return as Celtic eased to a 6-1 win over amateur outfit SC Pinkafeld in the first of their pre-season games in Austria.
The Scotland striker netted only six goals last season and did not play in 2019 due to personal issues.
However, the 28-year-old frontman left his off-the-field problems behind him as he showed his customary zest and zeal for action against the Austrian opponents who shocked Neil Lennon’s men by taking the lead.
Griffiths, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “It is great to be back. I have been waiting for this for almost six months now. It is great to be pulling on a shirt and getting minutes under my belt.
“Pre-season is all about getting that sharpness back. I have been training very hard for the last three or four months, but there is nothing like stepping out onto a pitch and playing a game.”
The lively raider acknowledged it had been a difficult period away from the football environment and insisted he is now firmly focused on helping the treble-treble heroes to continue to dominate the domestic game and also make an impression in Europe after missing out on the Champions League group stages for the first time in three years.
Griffiths added: “It has been very tough – mentally and physically.
“But it is not just about me. It is about the guys who were there all season, working hard and we won the treble again.
“We need to look forward now and make sure we qualify for the Champions League and win another treble.
“There is always going to be pressure at a club like this, but we have handled that for the last three years now, winning nine trophies on the bounce and we want to make that 12.”
As well as Griffiths, Mikey Johnston (2), Jack Aitchison, Ewan Henderson and Armstrong Oko-Flex got on the scoresheet as the Hoops prepared for Saturday’s game against Third Division outfit Wierner SC.