Lennon has high hopes for Stokes and Griffiths

NEIL Lennon praised his Celtic team for delivering its best performance of the season but insisted there is still more to come next season once Anthony Stokes and Leigh Griffiths fully develop a partnership.

Neil Lennon has backed Leigh Griffiths and Anthony Stokes to build a partnership. Picture: Robert Perry

Stokes took his total for the season to 19 with his hat-trick against Inverness while Griffiths has now scored seven since his £1 million move from Wolves after contributing to the 6-0 rout yesterday at Celtic Park.

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“That was up there with our best performances of the season along with Hearts away in the cup and at Motherwell,” said the Celtic manager. “The attitude and appetite of the players was fantastic. The quality of the football, the pace, the movement – everything was there to see.

“For a long time now Anthony has been playing very well. Now he’s getting the goals that his all-round play is deserving. More or less every season he’s been here he’s reached 20 goals so he’s been a very important player since I came in the door. He has a good relationship now with (Kris) Commons and Griffiths and that augurs well for the future. I have no idea why it’s all starting to click. It might just be maturity. It might be the arrival of Griffiths has kicked him on again after Gary Hooper left. I’m just delighted with the way he’s playing.”

However, the manager refused to comment on the banner unfurled by some fans which hinted at Griffiths’ recent off-field controversy. “I can’t comment on the banner because I wasn’t sure who it was aimed at,” said Lennon. “If it was aimed at Leigh then we are going through a process at the minute and we will be able to speak more about it when the process finishes. We’ve all made mistakes. But I think the kid will come good. I don’t know if he was aware that the banner was aimed at him. If he did then we expect those kind of performances from him anyway. I think that’s seven goals in 11 games so he’s doing 
exactly what we brought him in to do.”