Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

More to come from Celtic new Bhoy Leigh Griffiths: Neil Lennon

Off the mark: Leigh Griffiths scored opener against Hearts

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has warned Leigh Griffiths will only get better after opening his Hoops account.

The former Hibernian striker returned to Tynecastle for the first time since completing his £1million move from Wolves on Saturday to net his opening Celtic goal against old foes Hearts.

Griffiths struck 28 goals during his final season at Easter Road last year as he claimed both the Clydesdale Bank and Scottish Football Writers' player of the year awards.

But Lennon believes the 23-year-old Scotland cap is ready to click up another notch.

"He's settled in fine," said the Parkhead manager. "Getting the goal will have given him a huge psychological lift.

"He has been brought here to score goals and there is an expectation on him now. He's playing for the biggest club he's had in his career now but he's adapted to it very well and the players around him have made the transition easier for him.

"It will be a weight off his shoulders to get that goal so early in his time here. He's a goalscorer and if you look at his finish, it was a typical Leigh Griffiths finish.

"He strikes the ball with so little back-lift but with a lot of power and unerring accuracy. We like his movement and his intelligence and I think there is more to come from him."

Celtic travel to Aberdeen tonight but Lennon insists the Bhoys do not have vengeance on their mind following their shock Scottish Cup defeat by the Dons earlier this month.

"Revenge is a bit too strong a word really," said the Northern Irishman. "It's just a case of us maintaining our focus away from home."

The Reds' win at Celtic Park sparked claims that Derek McInnes' men were closing in on the Hoops in terms of the strength of their squads.

But while Lennon's unbeaten side notched up their 23rd league win from 26 games as they beat the Jambos 2-0, Aberdeen slipped to a 3-1 defeat against Partick Thistle to fall 24 points behind.

And Lennon says that only proves just how impressive his side's feat has been.

"Those things can happen," he said. "It speaks more about what we have done in the league this season then any other team."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre