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Friday 9 December 2016

Griffiths: Let's do it for Deila

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths

Celtic will have to overcome a double blow when they resume their Ladbrokes Premiership title race against Ross County at Parkhead on Sunday, according to striker Leigh Griffiths.

The league leaders were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Old Firm rivals Rangers in a dramatic semi-final penalty shoot-out at Hampden Park last weekend despite going into the game as heavy favourites.

Subsequently, if not consequently, manager Ronny Deila announced on Wednesday morning that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season, his second campaign in charge.

The search for a new boss is under way but 37-goal Griffiths stressed that the team will not lose sight of securing the title for the fifth successive season while helping send Deila on his way by winning him his third trophy in two years, after a league and League Cup double last season.

The 25-year-old said: "After Sunday's defeat and then the gaffer coming out with that, it was a shock to everybody but we've still got five games left to give him the perfect send-off.

"He told us just before we went out to train on Wednesday that he had decided to step down as manager and the squad was disappointed.

"Hopefully at the end of the season he'll look back on his time and he has delivered three trophies in two years. He can count that as a success.

"The European campaigns obviously haven't been great and the cup runs haven't been great but we got two trophies last year and we are looking to get five in a row."

Griffiths took several months to convince Deila he was the man to lead the line after the Norwegian arrived in the summer of 2014 and the former Wolves striker knows he will have to do it all again to impress the next boss.

"After the first four or five months I didn't look back and come pre-season I will have to do it all over again," he said.

"First and foremost, we still have to win the next five games to win the league. After that it is up to the club to decide who they bring in and hopefully we hit the ground running in pre-season."

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