NEIL LENNON has been urged not to give up on Leigh Griffiths who has scored a mere three goals in over 12 months.
The striker’s Hoops career stalled before the turn of last year due to well-publicised personal issues.
The 29-year-old Scotland international was forced to take a break from the action, but came back this season and claimed his first strike in the 5-0 Champions League qualifying win over Nomme Kalju with a trademark deadball free-kick at Parkhead in July.
Ironically, his previous goal had been from a set-play in a 3-0 win at Hamilton in November 2018.
HEAVENS ABOVE…Leigh Griffiths searches for some Divine intervention.
Griffiths added two more goals in August in the 7-0 win over St Johnstone on Flag Day and the 5-2 triumph over Motherwell at Fir Park a week later.
However, any hopes of the hitman returning to his old form have dimmed and he has made only four starts in his 18 appearances.
There is a worry the fans’ favourite might never again scale the heights that has seen him hit over a century of goals for the club since arriving in a £1million switch from Wolves in January 2014 following two successful seasons on loan at his boyhood favourites Hibs.
Four years ago, he was in the form of his life when he thumped in FORTY goals and former Celtic centre-half John Hughes, who had one season at the club in 1995/96, insisted it would be wrong to write off the faltering forward.
The ex-Hibs, Falkirk and Inverness Caley Thistle boss, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “If Leigh can get himself fit, then he can shoot Celtic to the title. He’s the answer, but he needs to get himself fit and injury-free. If he can do that, then Celtic wouldn’t need another striker.
PARADISE REGAINED…Leigh Griffiths after scoring against Nomme Kalju.
“I would never give up on Griff because he has that talent. He’s a goalscorer and he’ll never lose it.
“It was great to see him getting back on the pitch and I hope that he can get back to full fitness.
“He’s suffered with the calf problem for a number of years, so it’s getting back to the standards he set himself.
“Three or four years ago, he scored 40 goals and you think he’ll do that every season, but it doesn’t happen like that.
“I very much doubt he’ll get back to that 40-goals-a-season level because of the injury problems he has had.
“And maybe for that reason Celtic will bring in one or two to take them to where they want to go, but I would never give up on Griff.”
* John Hughes was speaking at a Scottish Cup sponsors William Hill media event.