'If I ever see him in the street' - Leigh Griffiths on Neil Lennon, the Celtic boo boys and fresh lease of life at Dundee
Leigh Griffiths is trying to put all the negativity behind him and start fresh. But he admits that should he bump into former boss Neil Lennon he would struggle to leave it all in the past.
Out on loan at Dundee for the remainder of the season, he is keen to move on from the claims of inappropriate behaviour that dogged his personal and professional life.
The police have cleared him of the former but Lennon has failed to back down from the latter.
“If I ever see him in the street, then we will probably have a couple of words to say to each other. But I am not going to keep battering him in the press because I don't want it to be all about what Neil Lennon says or to keep him in the loop. He is out of a job now and he is trying to keep himself relevant.
“But, for me, it is all about my time here at Dundee and making sure I am playing well, scoring goals and helping the team hit that top six.”
As well as the accusations of poor fitness, and questionable attitude, Griffths, who has admitted to mental health problems, had to weather the boos and jeers of the Celtic support during a pre-season match.
“If I’d stayed at Celtic, I’d probably be the only player to be booed home and away!
“Listen, of course it hurt but people are allowed to voice their opinion. It is done with and I don't have a bad word to say about the fans, the club, the people who work there. They have been first class for the last seven and a half years. Hopefully I still have a future there.”
Their patience appeared to have worn thin with the prolific but often errant striker. Griffiths was granted a contract extension under new gaffer Ange Postecoglou but still couldn’t force his way into the match-day plans. Hence the move to Tayside.
“He is a great guy who has brought something new to the club that hasn’t been there since Brendan [Rodgers]. The attacking way they are playing is first class and when they get it right, no team can stop them. He is a great guy and I wish him all the best for this season.
“It is hard when you are a striker and only play one up front. You need to be fully at it but he has a different mindset. He has gone with Kyogo, Odsonne, who are two great players.
“Listen, there is no bad blood there but I am here to do a job for Dundee.
“People say I come with a lot of baggage and they are probably right but I don't want that to be the sole focus.
“It’s all about getting that run of games. If I do that and start scoring goals, the confidence will build right away and this is the place to do that.
“After speaking to the manager [James McPake] on the phone, he showed me a lot of love. He explained how he wanted to play, how he wanted to kick-start my career again and get me back smiling.
‘It’s been a frustrating 18 months so I can’t wait to get going.”
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