Griffiths: ‘I am ready to go’

Date published: Sunday 11th January 2015 4:02

Griffiths: 'I am ready to go'

The 27 year-old has already scored twice for the Hoops this campaign and is set to feature heavily in upcoming weeks, with new signing Nadir Ciftci still serving a six-game ban for biting and Anthony Stokes linked with a move away from Parkhead.
Ciftci is seemingly Deila’s preferred striker in Europe, having played in all four of Celtic’s Champions League qualifiers. However, Griffiths believes he is good enough to challenge the former Dundee United man for a starting place this season. 
“Every game I play I want to score goals and if I score goals it’s going to be difficult for the manager to leave me out,” said Griffiths.
“I go into every game looking to score goals, whether it’s league, cup, Champions League or whatever.
“If I’m playing I’m delighted but if not I’m on the bench and I’m raring to come on. You have always got to be on your toes, especially at a big club like Celtic. But whenever the manager needs me I am ready to go.
“Last season I wasn’t in squads but this season I am starting in games. Obviously the main target is to start European games but it’s the manager’s decision and if he wants to start with Nadir, that’s fine by me.”
Griffiths is set to lead the line against Kilmarnock in Wednesday’s Premiership fixture, as well as in Saturday’s game at home to Inverness.
Celtic’s assistant manager, John Collins, controversially claimed recently that the other Scottish Premiership sides are “not clever enough or quick enough thinkers” to challenge Deila’s team.
Collins’ comments are likely to provide extra motivation for the Rugby Park side, and Griffiths was quick to warn against any complacency on Wednesday night.
“When we go to visit teams at their home park, they tend to raise their game against us,” he said.
“I’m sure Gary Locke will have them [Kilmarnock] fired up. They have had a disappointing start to the season but they will see Celtic coming to Rugby Park and will be trying to get a result against us.”
The former Hibernian and Wolves forward is hoping to solidify a starting place ahead of next week’s Champions League play-off match against Malmo. Griffiths expects the Swedish champions to provide a much sterner test than Celtic’s usual domestic competition.  
“It’s always different, you are playing against top players in the Champions League. No disrespect to the SPFL but it’s a step up in class,” he said.
“Especially when we play away from home, teams are going to attack us more. As a striker, especially playing that lone striker role, you need to hold the ball up, and your link-up play and touch have got to be on point, or else teams will punish you and you are out of Europe as quickly as you went in.
“Regardless of who you are playing against, it’s a tireless job. You have to make unselfish runs and do your bit for the team.”

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