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‘ON FIRE’: GRIFF’S EDOUARD HOPE

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LEIGH GRIFFITHS is determined to rekindle the fire with his frontline partner Odsonne Edouard as Celtic head into another crucial campaign.

The striking duo teamed up after the turn of the year as the Hoops hit the ground running in 2020 on their way to their ninth successive title.

Neil Lennon changed his stuttering system and paired the Scot and the flamboyant Frenchman as the focal point in attack.

Edouard had hit 28 goals before the season came to a premature halt in the middle of March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Griffiths notched only three in the lead-up to the winter break, but came out the traps in rip-roaring fashion after the new year and rattled in eight goals to hoist his tally to 11.

He brought down the curtain on the term with a brilliant hat-trick in the 5-0 league victory over St Mirren at Parkhead on March 7 where his elegant sidekick also got on the scoresheet with a slick effort.

CROWNING GLORY…Leigh Griffiths holds the ninth successive title trophy.

The re-energised 29-year-old attacker and the £9million former Paris Saint-Germain prospect collected 15 goals in 10 games together as the champions opened up a 13-point advantage at the top of the league with only eight games to go before the SPFL hierarchy blew the whistle early because of the outbreak.

Looking ahead to the new season, Griffiths, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I want him to be here, 100 per cent. I see rumours all of the time that he is being linked with massive clubs, but don’t forget that we are a massive club as well, so we want him to stay.

“If he stays one more season and plays as well as he has done over the last 18 months, he’d be a big, big asset in us reaching the 10 in a row.

“There is always going to be pressure at Celtic to win titles, but this one will mean a helluva lot more than some before.

“It will be talked about for a long time. If we have signings coming in, it will be drummed into them quickly that this is the biggest season in the club’s history.

“We are going for 10 and it’s up to us as players to go out and deliver. We need to be at it from the first kick off.

“It’s about what we do. If we play our best football in games, we know we will win the league.”

Griffiths added: “When Brendan came into the club, people forget that I was starting the games and started the season.

“I was scoring goals in the Champions League qualifiers and was playing well. I would have played against Rangers in the match where Moussa [Dembele] scored his hat-trick had I not got injured just before it.

“That’s the way football works. Odsonne comes into the club, I’ve still sustained injuries and then I have my time out.

“The gaffer comes back in and he says to me after the Scottish Cup Final he wanted me to come back and be ready for pre-season because he wanted me to play a big part.

“Then it was a bit stop-start again, but after January, I played well and me and Odsonne were on fire.

UP FOR IT…Odsonne Edouard celebrates another of his 28 goals last season.

“It would have been interesting to see how the gaffer would have gone at Ibrox in the game that was due before the shutdown if he’d have played one up or two up.

“We’ll never know, but we’ll see when the games come around again and see what the manager is thinking.

“It’s up to the manager to decide what games we would play and what formations he would like to use.

“But I think he knows that there’s an understanding there and it’s not as if it is something that is going to be chucked together. We know how we are going to play together.

“Odsonne likes to come short and I like to go long, so we complement each other.

“It’s an interesting one and I’m sure the fans are desperate to watch it in the stands or watch on the TV when we come back to see how we can continue the partnership.”

 
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