LEIGH GRIFFITHS admitted there was no chance of Celtic doing “a Malmo” when they conceded two quickfire goals against Hapoel Be’er Sheva last night.
Coincidentally, the prolific hitman had struck a double against the Swedes at the same stage of the tournament last year when Ronny Deila’s men conceded two goals – one a last kick of the ball – after looking comfortable.
Malmo got off the hook in a 3-2 defeat and the Hoops paid a heavy price in the second leg when they lost 2-0 and were sent toppling out of Europe’s premier competition.
Griffiths thinks last season’s Celtic team would have been unable to pick themselves up after conceding against the Israelis.
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He said: “Losing two goals again, I am sure everyone was thinking: ‘It’s going to happen again.’ But manager Brendan Rodgers has got that aura about him for us to keep going.
“We scored two extra goals and we could have made it more in the end. Last year we would have crumbled.
“Losing two goals in a game of that magnitude we would have folded and they’d probably have got an equaliser.
“But the boys showed great character. The manager just wants us to keep going. We are feeling fit, we are running over the park and we never stopped running – that’s why we got the extra goals.
“We need to keep going, keep sticking together – that’s what great teams do.
“It all comes from the manager. He has installed that in us. If we concede a goal we don’t let the heads down, we keep going.”
Scott Sinclair could have killed the tie at the death when he his shot was deflected round the post by the knee of the desperate keeper.
Unmarked Griffiths was in a great position and screaming for the new Bhoy to roll the ball across goal.
The hitman said: “If he squares it, I score my hat-trick. But if you had said to us beforehand that we could go to Israel with a three-goal advantage, we’d have bitten your hand off for it.”