Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths saved his side’s blushes in the cup game against Dundee United yesterday.
He popped up with an important goal at a vital time to keep the Bhoys in the competition, when weaker sides would have crumbled.
Ten goals in all competitions this season is a tally Griffiths will want to improve before the end of the season, but he can be happy with his confidence and position in the side considering he was linked with a move to Hibs by the Edinburgh News as recently as last December.
He’s arguably now the first choice player in his position for Celtic manager Ronny Deila.
There are better players in terms of technical quality, such as John Guidetti, but Griffiths gives much more to the current side.
He works hard and his effort can’t be faulted whereas there are serious questions over the commitment and desire of Guidetti in terms of the Celtic cause.
Griffiths showed intelligence against Dundee United yesterday in a number of different ways.
The most obvious was the way he manipulated the Dundee United defence, drifting into little pockets of space across the back four to take advantage of fatigue creeping into the opposition.
Anthony Stokes is another option for Deila, but Griffiths is taking his chances whereas Stokes has failed to cash in when he’s been in and out of the side throughout this season.
The main challenge Griffiths now faces is to stay in the team over the rest of the season.
Deila will naturally look for ways to improve all areas of his team in the summer, but Griffiths is a good example of a player who has risen to the occasion, developed and looks as though he’s made the manager’s job easier in terms of his role and position.