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‘LEIGH HAS SHOWN HUNGER AND DESIRE,’ McGHEE

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SCOTLAND assistant manager Mark McGhee can sympathise with the plight of Leigh Griffiths.

Last season’s 40-goal man has been playing in the shadow of Moussa Dembele at Celtic this season since the French ace’s three-goal explosion against Sevco Rangers in September.

But the Scots are still likely to rely on Griffiths, who got 28 minutes in the 1-1 midweek draw against Canada, when they face their World Cup qualifier against Slovenia at Hampden on Sunday.

The 26-year-old hitman could see the international clash as being the springboard he needs to fire up the rest of the campaign at the Hoops.

McGhee said: “Leigh has not been getting a game at his club, but he comes here and feels he has a chance of playing.

“Therefore, in training he has shown his hunger and desire.

“He is a great finisher and has shown every bit of that desire you would want to see that he wants to play.”

Not getting regular first team football at he champions will not necessarily be a disadvantage to the player who has yet to score at the top international level.

McGhee said: “It is the same with Chris Martin who has not been getting games for Fulham recently, either, and he’s suffering from it.

“Steven Fletcher has not been getting games. We have a problem in that our strikers are not playing regularly.

“As a former striker, I knew I would be at my best if I was playing every week.

“To be in and out of the team, I don’t think strikers do that very well so that is a bit of a problem for us.

“Gordon obviously has to consider that.”

Yet the Scotland No.2 has played down suggestions the team will play two players to spearhead the attack against the Slovenians in a must-win confrontation.

He said: “We have to consider the opposition as well and whether we can play with two up front.

“That is probably a difficult thing to do.

“Both of them, Leigh and Jordan Rhodes, came on against Canada. It gives Gordon food for thought, but it is unlikely we will start with a 4-4-2 with two boys up front.

“There was always going to be opportunities for people to perform well and play themselves into it. Clearly, that didn’t particularly happen.

“The game against Slovenia takes care of itself and there will be no consequence because of the Canada match.

McGhee added: “A win will put us straight back in the mix. The only result we can live with is a win and then we can all take stock.

“We will all feel a little bit differently on Monday morning if we have won.”

 
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