LEIGH GRIFFITHS accepts he will have to prove himself all over again to Ronny Deila in the new season.
The on-fire Celtic hitman, who got the opener in the 2-0 first day SPFL win over Ross County, admitted: “It’s always dangerous to consider yourself first choice at this club.
“If I was, I would have started the European games. I want to be the striker who leads the attack for Celtic. But if not, I’ll sit on the bench and bide my time. When I get on I’ll look to score goals.
”I played against Inter Milan up front on my own last season and it was hard.
“Maybe the manager would have preferred someone bigger with more of a presence.
“But sometimes, when defenders are tight to you, a ball behind them is better where you can get a run on them.
“All the questions that have ever been put to me, I think I’ve answered.
“Last year it was about getting fitter and stronger. By January I was in the team and finished as top scorer.
“This time it’s about whether I can keep other strikers such as Nadir Ciftci out of the team. But I am aiming to hit a good run of form and score goals. As well as Celtic’s games, there are the Euro qualifiers for Scotland and I want to be involved.”
The 24-year-old attacker added: “Listen, you can always improve, unless you’re Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I’m nowhere near that standard, so I have to be in the gym every day, training hard and doing extra stuff. This is a new season and a new start.”
Griffiths sustained a calf injury after being brought down by Ross County’s Andrew Davies that brought his early penalty-kick opportunity.
The frontman was taken off in the 19th minute with Stefan Scepovic taking his place, but boss Deila is confident the player will be fit for Wednesday – if needed.
Ciftci, bought for £1.3million from Dundee United last month, has started the three European ties this season against Iceland’s Stjarnan, home and away, and Azerbaijani champions Qarabag.
Griffiths had hoped to start last week, but dental problems kept him on the subs’ bench at the beginning.
He said: “It was really painful, but I managed to get a quick appointment and the tooth came out on Wednesday morning.
“That’s the first time it has happened, it just sprung on me. I didn’t get any sleep on Tuesday, so I was a bit tired on Wednesday. I was looking forward to playing, but the manager probably took the toothache into account.
“I had a good run of form in the build-up to the game, so I thought I’d be in with a shout. But the manager went with Nadir and he did really well.
“I’m sure the gaffer will look at the options he has for the second leg.”