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‘OLI WILL BE CELTIC SENSATION,’ INSISTS GRIFFITHS

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LEIGH GRIFFITHS is backing £4.5million new Bhoy Olivier Ntcham to make a massive impact at Celtic this season.

The striker, who fired in two goals in the 4-1 runaway win over Hearts, believes the recent recruit from Manchester City was the Hoops’ top performer on Saturday.

Griffiths said: “I have never seen a guy so composed on the ball in my life.

“You have seen how well he takes the ball, just on the half-turn almost, and he makes things happen.

“He doesn’t get shrugged off the ball easily, either, and for me he was actually the man of the match against Hearts.

“I was happy to take his champagne, but I thought he was excellent. As soon as he gets properly settled and match fit, I think we’ll all see just what a top player he is.”

In the absence of hamstring victim Moussa Dembele, Griffiths is the only fit main striker available to Brendan Rodgers at the moment.

And the Scottish international, who is within 13 goals of hitting a century for the champions, insisted he doesn’t plan to simply move over when last season’s 32-goal man is fit and ready to go next month.

He said: “I want that starting spot whether Moussa is fit or not. I finished the season really strongly and I started this one pretty well, so it is about keeping that going for me.

“My calves are feeling very good. I am working every day with the physios to keep myself at my best. I feel really strong.

“I did a lot of work over the summer to make sure that I would be back here ready to hit the ground running for pre-season training and, hopefully, it was only a wee blip.

“I have worked really hard over the last year. I have taken a lot of things on board and I am out there trying to put it into practice now.

“I am just focused on doing my best for the team and trying to make sure that I am still chipping in with the goals.”

Kilmarnock in the Betfred League Cup at Parkhead tomorrow night and Partick Thistle in the Premiership at Firhill on Friday are now in the frontman’s sights.

He added: “The gaffer had spoken to me before Saturday’s game to explain just how important the next couple of matches are.

“I knew that he would take me off about 65 minutes or so because I am the only fit striker and I understood that. I had done my job. I am looking forward to tomorrow night and we’ll see what that brings.

“Regardless of what competition it is or who we are playing, I want to be out there. I want the games to get my sharpness back and, hopefully, I can get a good hour under my belt.

“As I said, I am doing a bit of extra work after training with the physios just to strengthen certain areas but the game time is good as well just to make sure I am up to speed. I was pleased with the two goals on Saturday.

“I feel good physically and mentally and it is just a case now of ticking over.”

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