Griffiths aiming to end final duck with 100th Celtic goal

Leigh Griffiths during training at Lennoxtown
Leigh Griffiths during training at Lennoxtown
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Leigh Griffiths has three goals when it comes to Celtic’s William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell on Saturday. Or, to be more precise, he has three ambitions for the season’s grand finale, one of which is to score at least two goals.

Most importantly, the 27-year-old is anxious to successfully secure a historic back-to-back clean sweep of domestic honours at Hampden. From his own perspective, however, he is eager to score his first goal in a cup final and, gilding the lily somewhat, would also love to reach a century of goals for the champions.

Should he manage to accomplish his personal treble, then Griffiths would be able to successfully erase the memories of a campaign which has been blighted by viral and muscular problems.

“I’m two goals away now and it seems to be getting increasingly difficult [to reach three figures] but I’ll be there on Saturday and, if I get the chance to put the ball in the back of the net, I will,” he said.

“The boys are willing me to get it done and, hopefully, if there are any set-pieces or penalties, then I’m sure they’ll duly oblige and let me hit them.

“If I could write it how I want to get my 100th goal, then it would be to do it in the cup final. I’ve never scored in a cup final for Celtic yet, so that would break my duck –it would also be the perfect end to the perfect season for the club.”

Oddly enough, Griffiths isn’t even particularly concerned about notching the winner at Hampden, provided he gets the goals he needs to reach his target.

“I don’t think many people take notice of the goalscorers in finals as long as we get the job done,” he said. “Obviously, Tom Rogic’s effort to beat Aberdeen last year was a little bit different because it was so late in the game.

“But I’ll need to wait and see what happens at Hampden. First of all, we need to turn up on the day and make sure we play to our best.

“Motherwell will come and make it difficult for us; we’ve seen that in the past. They are a difficult opponent, but, if we bring our A game, then we’ll be almost there.”

Griffiths paid tribute to manager Brendan Rodgers , pictured, for helping to lift the burden of responsibility from the players’ shoulders as the odds-on favourites attempt to claim a sixth successive trophy.

“There’s pressure on us to win every week,” he said. “We’ve got 60,000 fans at home pressing us to win and, if we don’t win, then we hear them.

“Our manager tells us to just take it game by game and let him deal with the off-field stuff. That lets us 
concentrate on our football and making sure we get the win.

“If you play to your best and you lose then fair enough, it’s not our day, but we’ve got a full week to prepare for the big game.”