By support

13th Mar, 2017 | 9:50am

Leigh Griffiths delivers verdict on reported Celtic bust-up

By Matt Farr

Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths has admitted that he was in need of a wake-up call from manager Brendan Rodgers, but denied talk of a rift between the pair.

It had been reported that the Celtic chief was less than happy with the attitude and fitness of the 26-year-old striker, having missed a number of key games this season through injury.

However, the Scotland international has quashed talk of a fall-out at Parkhead, and admitted to the Daily Record that Rodgers’ harsh words gave him the incentive needed to work harder to impress his manager.

He said: “There’s been a lot of talk about rifts between me and the gaffer. But I want to set the record straight – me and the gaffer have got a great relationship.

“I spoke to the gaffer behind closed doors and I knew what he wanted from me. It was the same when Ronny Deila was here and I got a boot up the a*** I needed.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“But if you asked the gaffer from now on my attitude’s been spot on. I’ve put my head down, worked as hard as I can and got back into the squad.”

His fitness levels have been a long-term concern for Celtic, with former boss Ronny Deila also challenging him to become a ’24 hour athlete.’

It has been a difficult couple of months for Griffiths, having failed to start a league game since the win over Ross County on December 28 because of his latest injury.

Meanwhile, he has only managed 16 starts from his 30 appearances in all competitions, falling down the pecking order behind free scoring team-mate, Moussa Dembele.

Griffiths has 14 goals this term, netting a goal and an assist during the recent Scottish Cup win over St Mirren earlier this month.

But he is now determined to regain his place in Rodgers’ starting eleven, and accepted the criticism from his manager.

In other Celtic news, Pedro Caixinha has aimed a dig at Celtic during his first interview as Rangers boss.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Celtic breaking news