Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths 'can still make Scotland squad' after heroics in Aberdeen

The door to Scotland’s Euro 2020 squad could still open for Leigh Griffiths, according to Celtic interim manager John Kennedy, following the striker’s added-time equaliser in the 1-1 draw away to Aberdeen.

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths makes it 1-1 against Aberdeen.
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths makes it 1-1 against Aberdeen.

A deft header provided the 30-year-old with his first goal in almost three months, and only his eighth this season. However, Kennedy senses a renewed focus from the forward, whose Celtic future is in doubt with the club still to decide whether to activate a one-year option that would see him remain at the club next season.

“It's good for Leigh to get that goal,” said the Celtic interim. “It was a great ball from Moi [Mohamed Elyounoussi] and a good header to finish it from Leigh. He has put himself in contention to start games – he's goal hungry as always.

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“Leigh is training well. Can he make the Euros squad? It comes down to form and how Steve [Clarke] sees it.

He has a few strikers to choose from now but he [Leigh] has just to put himself in contention. That goal is what Leigh is all about – getting half a yard in the penalty box and finishing. Leigh is fit. He trains every day. He hasn't had many starts but he's fit.

“It will be Steve's decision and he has added extra strikers like Che Adams. So Steve does have a decision to make but all Leigh can do is make himself available. Leigh is up there with Scotland's best goalscorers. He had the issue when we came back for pre-season and his fitness wasn't what it should have been. That took a bit of time for him to get going but I have had no issues with Leigh in terms of how he works. We don't always play with two strikers, so that doesn't always help him.

"But Leigh is what he is. He is a great individual for us and when we need a goal, he gets you it. We want him fit and well, and in contention to start games, and that is where he is. The Euros does help us in terms of personal motivation - but there is always something to play for at Celtic.”

While Kennedy believed the late equaliser was deserved for his side’s efforts, new Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass was left exasperated by referee Willie Collum’s failure to award a penalty for a Callum McGregor challenge on Jonny Hayes in the closing stages.

"McGregor did not touch the ball, his body hits him you could see his arm coming across the front of Jonny. He is not going to dive,” said Glass. "Maybe the players need to be a bit more streetwise, if you like, sell things a little more but we don't want them to have to do that, we expect things to be handled properly but like I say I won't criticise the referees. I am disappointed we lost a late goal but I'm unbelievable proud of the players though for the effort they put in, I thought they were fantastic against a good Celtic team.”