The return of Scott Sinclair offers a timely reminder that, when it comes to goalscoring, Celtic do not rely wholly on Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths.
Sinclair’s winner against Partick Thistle on Tuesday evening was the winger’s tenth goal in the league this season, drawing him level with Ross County’s Liam Boyce at the top of the scoring charts in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Englishman has three more than both Dembele and Griffiths, the club’s frontline strikers who have tended to hog the headlines this season.
While the latter pair have weighed in with a number of cup goals, it is Sinclair who leads the way in the league, despite missing three and half weeks of the season after injuring his hamstring in the home defeat by Barcelona in the Champions League.
His enforced absence saw him miss out on the Betfred Cup final triumph over Aberdeen and the Champions League draw with his former club Manchester City at the Etihad but his return comes in the midst of a busy festive period for Celtic as they continue to pursue a treble while remaining unbeaten in domestic competitions.
“It feels great to be back in the swing of things,” Sinclair said. “I was out for three weeks but it felt a lot longer. The run of games we have had meant I missed a lot of games.
“It was heartbreaking to miss the cup final because I hadn’t been involved in a final for so long. The last one was the play-off final for Swansea when we won promotion. That wasn’t even really silverware so it was hard not being involved.
“Hopefully I can look forward now and we can get to another one – but I was gutted.
“Does it make me more determined to go and win the other two? Definitely. For me and all the boys, we want all the silverware we can get.
“I did feel part of the celebrations after the final and I did feel involved, as I’d played in all the games leading up to it. It wasn’t the same as playing but it was still great to get the cup. But it’s nice to be back and to get a goal was great.”
Celtic’s domestic unbeaten run now stretches to 21 games and Sinclair is confident the club can keep it going into the winter break, something he is looking forward to.
“It will be my first one,” he said of the three-week sabattical. “I think it’s great.”
The 1-0 win over Thistle put Celtic 14 points clear at the summit of the league and put Sinclair on a par with Boyce, not that the winger is paying too much attention to the scoring tables.
“I haven’t really looked to deeply at the top scorers,” he said. “I just make sure I do my job and that is to score and create goals. If I am doing that, then I am happy.”