Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has words of advice for Leigh Griffiths

18 May 2017 11:24

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers reminded striker Leigh Griffiths of his responsibility to the team after he questioned his substitution in the second half of the 5-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win over Partick Thistle.

The treble-chasers came racing out of the traps at Firhill and the Scotland international scored from the spot in the 17th minute with further goals from Tom Rogic and Patrick Roberts having the game finished before the interval.

Griffiths, however, was clearly unhappy with Rodgers when replaced by Scott Sinclair in the 63rd minute before Callum McGregor and Roberts added further late goals to put a better reflection on the scoreline for the rampant Hoops.

The Northern Irishman embraced Griffiths after the game but addressed the player's dissatisfaction by saying: "For a minute he forgot himself.

"For a minute he thought about himself instead of the team.

"This is a team that is selfless. That's why I can change it about, the players know I trust them in their work.

"He is a brilliant boy, all strikers will be the same so he just needed a wee reminder that it is not about him, or any individual, this is about the culture of the team.

"He was outstanding but he understood afterwards that I needed to protect him as the only fit striker at the moment. There is no drama."

The win extended the champions' unbeaten domestic run since the start of the season to 45 games and took them on to 103 points, which equalled Martin O'Neill's side which won the league in 2001/02.

Celtic can beat the record points total, go to 34 wins in the league, one more than the side of 2002, and add to their 104 goals against Hearts on Sunday.

Rodgers said: " You have seen the evolution of this team over the course of the season. We played well when we won 4-1 earlier in the season.

"But this is a different game, this is a team that is starting to understand our game, how we work, how the possession of the ball is key.

"Having it for long periods, tiring out the opponents, playing high-level technical football, recovering the ball really well and then having that ruthless simplicity to score and keep that concentration from first minute to last.

"It was an outstanding team performance at this stage of the season."

Partick Thistle boss Alan Archibald admitted his side were fortunate to escape with only the loss of five goals.

He said: "I think we were lucky it was five. I think Celtic took their foot off the gas at half-time if I am being really honest.

"It was very disappointing. Celtic are a good side but we stood off them and played with a fear, I think that was there for all to see, for the first five, 10 minutes and they could probably have been ahead before we gave them the penalty."

Source: PA


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