Celtic's Leigh Griffiths puts 'dark times' behind him with goal against Hamilton

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths puts 'dark times' behind him with goal against Hamilton

Leigh Griffiths overcame the "dark times" of being sidelined for six weeks by returning to score the third goal in Celtic's 3-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win at Hamilton today.

The Hoops striker had been absent since the 6-0 win over St Johnstone on October 7 due to a calf problem and illness, and he pulled out of Scotland's double-header with Israel and Portugal last month to work on his fitness.

The 28-year-old started on the bench but after replacing Odsonne Edouard in the 73rd minute, he drilled in a 25-yard free-kick nine minutes later.

"It is always nice to be back on the pitch," Griffiths said.

"It has been a frustrating five or six weeks for me, trying to build my fitness up to full fitness. To come back and score like that was great.

"It was dark times, a lot of frustration but you just have to get on with it and do your rehab properly."

"It didn't help that I was ill for 10 days and that added to my recovery time.

"It was good to be back on the pitch and hopefully I am now firing on all cylinders."

Boss Brendan Rodgers was pleased to see Griffiths back in action.

The Northern Irishman said: "I am delighted for him.

"He is as good as anyone from that 25 yards out. When he is on the pitch he is always a threat to the goal.

"He is a brilliant striker of the ball and placed it perfectly in the corner."

Goals from Ryan Christie and Scott Sinclair - which owed a lot to the deflection off Hamilton midfielder Scott Martin - had put Celtic 2-0 up before Griffiths' introduction.

Rodgers was pleased with side's first game back after the international break.

He said: "It was a good win, a good result. We could have been three up at half-time, we had the goal, should have had a penalty and Scott Sinclair was through (on goal).

"But we trusted our possession and ability to get there and eventually we got through.

"The confidence the players have gained from playing well and scoring goals and being creative.

"It looked like the first year I was here, coming and controlling the game and having the personality in the team to be aggressive."

Accies boss Martin Canning complained about set-pieces, for and against his side.

He said: "It was always going to be difficult against Celtic.

"The plan was to try frustrate as long we could, keep ourselves in the game and give ourselves an opportunity to take something from the game.

"We lose two goals from set-pieces which is disappointing, it shouldn't have happened.

"And Scott Sinclair scored a header which he is not renowned for, I wouldn't expect that when I have Delphin Tshiembe and Aaron McGowan at the back post.

"We had half a dozen opportunities with set-pieces to put the ball in the box and we weren't able to make the most of it and in the end we were beaten by a top side."

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