LEIGH GRIFFITHS has been there, done that and got the t-shirt. He understands that Champions League qualification is crucial to Celtic’s season and he has now been declared 100% fit and ready to lead the line in the most important game the Scottish Champions will probably play all season.
With Sevco Rangers, St Johnstone and Aberdeen all out of Europe, Scottish football’s only hope of salvaging something from the wreckage of the summer qualifiers is for Celtic to progres.
There will be a considerable weight on the shoulders of the Scotland striker and that kind of pressure usually brings out the best in the former Hibs man.
“It makes or breaks our season if we get to the Champions League,” Griffiths admitted today.
“Last year it set us up on a great platform. We knew it was a difficult group but having Champions League football back at Celtic Park after two disappointing years previously was massive for everybody involved.
“If we can get back into the group it will put everyone on a real high. The fans will be shouting from the rooftops and it will make the start we’ve made to the season worthwhile.”
A Kazakh journalist wanted to know what would happen at Celtic if Astana prevailed over the two legs and got their revenge for Celtic’s 3-2 aggregate win last year. Griffiths scored in both legs in that tie which was in the third qualifying round, rather than the play-offs.
“I don’t think about losing,” Griffiths replied. “We as a club don’t think about losing. I only think about the Champions League group stages. I don’t think about the Europa League.”
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