Griffiths can't wait to start working with Neil Lennon

After spending the second half of last season taking time to sort out his personal issues, Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths is raring to get back to action and to work with Neil Lennon, after the Northern Irishman was appointed the permanent manager of the Scottish champions at the weekend.

Lennon signed Leigh Griffiths in January 2014, and with the treble treble winners returning for pre-season training next month, the Scotland international is raring to get going.

Speaking to the official Celtic website, Griffiths said: “I’m looking forward to getting back. I have a fresh start next season with the new manager so I’m excited.

“Neil’s a brilliant manager and I can’t wait to start working with him and the rest of lads in a few weeks’ time. Neil signed me for Celtic just over five years ago and I'll always be grateful to him for that. I enjoyed working with him in the past and I’m excited about continuing that.

“Neil’s done a brilliant job since he’s come back. He’s done exactly what’s expected of him. No one expected anything less, to be honest. It was a sudden departure with Brendan leaving, but given Neil’s stature at the club, and what he’s achieved before, there was no hesitation in giving him the platform to make us treble champions again.”

Griffiths has been missing from the Celtic squad since December, but started back training in March to make sure that he would be fighting fit ahead of the new season.

“I’m feeling physically stronger and mentally stronger,” he added. “I came back in and I wasn’t in the condition I wanted to be. I had been out since December so I had a lot of work to do.

“The sports science team here is top drawer and I owe a special mention to John Currie, who has worked with me day-in and day-out. He goes above and beyond and he can see how much I’ve changed and how much my fitness has improved. The work I’m doing now with Scott Breddy has been great too. Both of them have been top drawer and I owe them a big thank you.

“The way I’ve been training, and what I’m doing just now, will have me fitter than I have been in the past. It’s about maintaining that fitness throughout pre-season and making sure I do everything right.

"The hunger is probably greater now than it ever has been. The difference between where I was in December to where I am now has been night and day. Hopefully, when I pull the jersey back on and step back on to the pitch, I’ll be firing on all cylinders."

Celtic will return to Lennoxtown on June 17 for pre-season before flying out to Austria later in the month for their regular pre-season camp.

It has been a long time coming for Griffiths to pull on the green and white hoops again, and we hope that he is as devastating to opposition defences as he has been in previous seasons for Celtic.