As reported by The Scotsman, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Leigh Griffiths will feature for Celtic on Sunday despite a public show of dissent against Partick Thistle on Thursday night.
Griffiths was subbed off at Firhill in the 63rd minute and didn’t look happy with Rodgers decision, exchanging words with his manager that didn’t exactly need a lip reading expert to decipher.
After diffusing the situation at the end of the match with an arm round the shoulders and a kiss on the cheek, the Celtic boss has gone on to back his striker ahead of Sunday’s match with Hearts.
As quoted by The Scotsman, Rodgers said:
The point I was reiterating to him is that he is such a big part of my thinking here. What he didn’t realise in his thinking was the reason for taking him off. He is probably thinking that he wasn’t playing well enough – he was fantastic again – but the idea was to give him a rest knowing that he will start at the weekend against Hearts and be totally ready for the cup final against Aberdeen the following week.
The Hoops manager also confirmed that Griffiths had apologised and they’d spoken about the incident. The whole situation highlights how well Rodgers works as a man manager, at other clubs a situation like this could spill over into days of headlines in Scotland.
Every striker is desperate to play every minute, especially when you haven’t had many starts across the season and your team are freely creating chances in the match. It’s understandable that Griffiths wouldn’t be happy and while his frustration should probably have not been displayed so publicly, Celtic fans should at least be comforted he is showing strong commitment to play for the club.