Leigh Griffiths says the competition for a starting berth at Celtic means he has to be 'selfish'
Leigh Griffiths has warned he needs to be playing regular football and wants to establish himself as Celtic’s first-choice striker.
The 27-year-old was in and out of Brendan Rodgers’ side last season, and of his 39 appearances for Celtic, only 20 came from the start.
Griffiths’ game-time could continue to be restricted following the permanent signing of Odsonne Edouard – who was on loan at Celtic Park last season – from PSG, as well as the continuing presence of Moussa Dembele.
Rodgers’ preferred tactic is to start with just one striker, and Griffiths said: “Competition for places is always good. But we only play one upfront and as a striker you want to be selfish.
“You want that starting jersey and you want to make it your own. You just need to take your chance when you get it.
“Everybody wants to play football. But it’s not only about the 11 players that start the game, it’s also about the 11 players that finish.
“I’m at the time in my career where I need to be playing regular football. Hopefully when I do get that starting jersey I’ll make it my own.”
Griffiths is currently in pre-season training with Celtic as they prepare for their first competitive match of the season – the Champions League first-qualifying round double-header against Alashkert, of Armenia.
The winner of the tie will go on to play Iceland’s Valur or Norway’s Rosenborg, with two further qualifying rounds after that.
But despite the potentially arduous route to the group stages, Griffiths believes Celtic can still improve on last year’s European performance.
“As players, we always want to get to the Champions League,” he said. “The manager and the board expect us to be there.
“But at times people don’t realise how difficult it is. We’ve got a difficult trip in the first tie. Hopefully we come through that and then we’ve got another difficult trip.
“But the main objective is to get through to the knockout stages.”