Quick links

Celtic

Leigh Griffiths thinks pragmatic Celtic can progress against CFR Cluj

Lee Griffiths of Celtic has a shot on goal during the UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round 2nd Leg match between Celtic and FC Sarajevo at Celtic Park Stadium on July 17, 2019 in...

Leigh Griffiths thinks his manager Neil Lennon can inspire progression into the next round of UEFA Champions League qualifying.

Lee Griffiths of Celtic has a shot on goal during the UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round 2nd Leg match between Celtic and FC Sarajevo at Celtic Park Stadium on July 17, 2019 in...

Leigh Griffiths thinks Celtic will "need to do the dirty stuff" to get a positive result out of Wednesday night's encounter away to Romanian champions Cluj.

It's been plain sailing for the Hoops so far in their efforts to reach the group stages of the Champions League, progressing comfortably past FK Sarajevo and Nomme Kalju.

Subscribe

Those wins, coupled with a 7-0 thumping of St Johnstone at the weekend, mean that Griffiths and company are in confident mood heading into their toughest test of the summer so far.

Cluj, managed by experienced coach Dan Petrescu, will be no pushovers and the striker thinks that the hard yards must be put in to get the job done.

 

He also reckons a disciplined performance inspired by Neil Lennon is the order of the day.

As quoted by The Daily Record, Griffiths said: "We will need to do the dirty stuff against Cluj over there. That’s the mark of a European tie away from home and the manager can be pragmatic when he needs to be.

“You see the way he can set up in Europe, frustrate teams and make us hard to beat. He’s given the fans a lot of memorable European nights. We need to go there, be compact and solid and look to break on them in the counter attack."

The first leg performance might not quite be as stylish as the weekend rout of Tommy Wright's side then, but Griffiths makes a good point.

His words also highlight the key failing of Brendan Rodgers' side in Europe over the last three years; the inability to defend robustly in Europe.

Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Celtic signals during the UEFA Europa League Group B match between Celtic and RB Leipzig at Celtic Park on November 8, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Rodgers' team conceded 39 goals in 21 matches away from home in UEFA competition, a record that is not conducive to much success.

Often unwilling to compromise a patient possession style that could invite unnecessary pressure away in Europe, it was a major problem and a frustration for some fans.

Can Lennon bring a pragmatism back to Celtic's play, as Griffiths wants?

It was certainly a hallmark of his sides against tough opponents during his first spell as Hoops boss and it'll be interesting to see what his tactics are as European tests become more difficult.

Whether he feels it necessary to do that in Romania or not? We don't have long to find out.

Griffiths, who missed the second half of last season but is now reborn under Lennon and firing in goals, could have a big part to play either way.

Lee Griffiths of Celtic celebrates scoring with his teammates during the UEFA Champions League Second Qualifying round 1st Leg match between Celtic v Nomme Kalju FC at Celtic Park on July...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch