John Hughes was surprised by the new contract offered to Leigh Griffiths- claiming that indiscipline and fitness levels are red flag issues.
Time looked to have run out on Griffiths when his Celtic deal expired on June 30 but at noon the following day a new 12-month contract was announced.
Neil Lennon left the striker out of Celtic’s pre-season matches in France and didn’t hold back when he slammed the way that Griffiths had acted and the condition that he returned to Lennoxtown in.
Picking up on Hughes’ appearance on Sportsound, the Daily Record reports the former Celtic defender saying:
It surprised me a little bit. There is no doubt that he is a natural goal scorer, but I’ve said on this programme loads of times, that the year he scored 40 goals you think it’s going to be there every year. That’s never the case, and he’s never reached those heights again.
With all the problems that Leigh has had over the years, with mostly the indiscipline problems and the fitness levels and all that; that for me would have been a red flag.
I’m not doubting his ability as a goalscorer, and I can understand why (he has been re-signed) because he is a goalscorer, but I just feel that you are looking to keeping moving it forward.
Saying that, does that mean that another striker could be going? Edouard could be on the cards for going and they need Griff. There is no doubt if you give him game time he will score goals, but will he take you where you really want to go?
Where they really want to go is they have to do Rangers, and they have to get better in Europe, and I don’t think he is up to that.
In management Hughes has become fanatical about fitness in order that players maximise their potential and make up for weaknesses in their game.
At the end of last season he quit as manager of Ross County despite saving the club from relegation. At one stage he was linked with the job of managing the Celtic Colts but remains on the outside looking in with the Premier Sports Cup starting this weekend.