IT TOOK Leigh Griffiths under an hour against St Mirren yesterday to achieve three goals – to match his tally for the first FIVE months of the season.
The comeback Bhoy netted against Nomme Kalju, St Johnstone and Motherwell in the first half of the campaign – but has hit the ground running since the turn of the year.
Griffiths emphasised he is returning to his striking best at the right time when he opened the scoring against the Paisley visitors in the 18th minute, added a second just before the interval and thumped in his treble in the 74th minute.
Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor, with an expertly-drilled penalty-kick in the fading moments, played their part in the 5-0 runaway success against Jim Goodwin’s battlers.
However, it was the 29-year-old hitman who revelled in taking centre stage and afterwards overjoyed gaffer Neil Lennon showered praise on his player.
The Hoops boss, speaking to the Sunday Mail, said: “I’m delighted for Leigh, he looked more like his old self. The third goal is Leigh Griffiths, a quick turn and smashes it in the corner.
“We’ve not seen that from him in a while. The second goal was brilliantly worked and the first goal gave him a lot of confidence, so he can be really happy with his day’s work.
“It’ll give him a huge lift. Now he knows he can still do it and we all knew he could.
“He’s answered all his critics. People were saying he was finished here, but that was never the case with him. My backroom team worked with him and the fitness coaches worked with him, so he owes the club a lot and with performances like that he’s starting to repay it.”
Lennon was also satisfied with how his team played and the work ethic they showed just three days after a gruelling encounter against gritty Livingston in West Lothian where they shed their only points of 2020 so far in a 2-2 draw.
The Irishman added: “It was an emphatic win and a clean sheet off the back of a hard game on Wednesday. It could have been a tricky one, but we dealt with it well.
“I’m pleased for Odsonne getting his goal, as well, and we could have had a few more. There was a good work ethic form us on and off the ball and I couldn’t have asked any more of the side.”