Celtic star's frank admission over fitness, explains absence from team

Leigh Griffiths has given a frank admission on the state of his fitness at the start of the season.

Speaking to the Celtic View, Griffiths has admitted that he returned to Celtic from pre-season in a dreadful state of fitness.

“I came back and I wasn’t fit enough, I never did enough work over the summer,” the Scottish striker said. “I just had to get fitter, lose a bit of weight and work on all aspects of my game.

“I have added all that together since the turn of the year, and I have started playing and scoring goals, and that’s what I will be trying to do for the rest of the season and then work hard over the summer.”

Griffiths started this season outside of Ronny Deila’s first team, as the Norwegian coach preferred the likes of John Guidetti and Anthony Stokes in the lone striker role.

The 24-year-old started just two Scottish Premiership games from the start of the season until Christmas, and was even excluded from matchday squads for a number of consecutive weeks.

It appeared as if his career at Parkhead was over, but he fought back to rediscover his fitness, his form and his goalscoring touch. Since the turn of the year, the Scottish international has enjoyed a much more consistent run in Deila’s plans, and he has three goals and two assists in his last five league games.

He has shown his worth to Deila in a number of top class performances, and Griffiths should be praised for his off-pitch work to bring himself to a state in which he could impress. He may not be one of the most lauded names in the squad, but he may just have proven to be the hardest working, and that could soon make him a key part of Deila’s new Bhoys regime.

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