By Noel Whelan

12th Aug, 2020 | 7:00am

Exclusive: Top pundit reacts after report claims Celtic 29-yr-old axed over lockdown breach

Noel Whelan has said that Celtic cannot use the excuse of Leigh Griffiths’ absence for their 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Aberdeen forward believes that Celtic have enough quality and didn’t need Griffiths at the weekend.

Neil Lennon confirmed that the reason 29-year-old missed out was a calf injury and not because of a club investigation into a potential lockdown breach, as reported by Glasgow Live.

The club have been thrown into further turmoil after it emerged defender Boli Bolingoli didn’t quarantine following a trip to spain before the game with Kilmarnock.

As a result the Scottish government has intervened to postpone the Hoops’ next two Premiership games.

Asked about whether Griffiths’ absence at the weekend was an excuse for Celtic dropping points Whelan said: There’s enough players out there with enough quality to win the game without Leigh Griffiths.

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“If you said that about another club without those resources, without those players in their side, then maybe but Celtic? No.

“They have an abundance of talent and quality out there. I think Neil Lennon will be disappointed that the players that he chose to go out there, the starting eleven, couldn’t go out and win that game. That is the problem.

“They need to step up their game, they need to be more ruthless. They need to create more chances against teams like that away from home to win those games and you need to defend better.”

Celtic took an early lead through a Ryan Christie free-kick on 11 minutes. The hosts drew level less than a quarter-of-an-hour later after Chris Burke converted from the penalty spot.

Despite enjoying 70% possession and having 17 efforts on goal, Celtic had to settle for a point.

In other Celtic News, an ex-Ger has been left reeling after Celtic released a MASSIVE update.