Griffiths bemoans ‘disappointing’ season as title nears

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Leigh Griffiths says it has been a disappointing season for Celtic, despite the Hoops closing in on the Scottish Premiership title.

The Scotland striker has been in the form of his career and is the country’s top scorer with 38 goals.

His goal-scoring exploits and match-winning performances have led to a PFA Scotland Player of the Year nomination alongside Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes and Dundee duo Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart.

Celtic, who are nine points clear at the top, could clinch their fifth consecutive title this weekend if they can defeat Hearts at Tynecastle and Aberdeen fail to pick up three points against Motherwell.

However, cup semi-final defeats to Ross County and Old Firm rivals Rangers, allied to another disappointing European campaign, saw manager Ronny Deila announce his decision to leave the club in the summer.

And Griffiths admitted these factors have soured what is likely to be another championship-winning season.

“Personally, it’s been the best season of my career. I can’t really complain, with 38 goals, and hopefully there’s still a lot more to come.

“I got myself back in the Scotland squad, which was good, and hopefully I can add another league title to my collection,” the Celtic striker said.

“It’s always nice to win individual awards, but collectively, as a team, it’s been disappointing. The European campaign wasn’t great, and neither was going out of the cup competitions, but we need to stick together as a squad and we can make history by getting five-in-a-row.”

The Hoops, who drew 1-1 with Ross County last Sunday, take on Hearts on Saturday and were held to a 2-2 draw on their last visit to Tynecastle.

“We’ve got a difficult venue on Saturday but we’re looking to go and get all three points,” said Griffiths.

“It’s come to the business end of the season and we just want to get over the line, whether it’s this Saturday or the following week. We just want to get it done as soon as possible.

“The semi-final was a disappointment and then the manager announcing his departure was hard to take, and then it was a frustrating game on Sunday, but we need to bounce back and quickly.

“Expectation levels at Celtic are exceptional. The demand is for you to win every game and if you don’t there are questions asked, and rightly so, but we’re still going for five-in-a-row.”

On Monday, Dundee will have the chance to relegate their city rivals Dundee United if second bottom Kilmarnock pick up a win away to Hamilton at the weekend.

A win for Killie would lift them 11 points clear of United, who would then be condemned to the Scottish Championship if they suffer defeat at the home of their fierce rivals.

Fixtures (1400GMT unless stated)

Saturday

Hearts v Celtic (1130) Aberdeen v Motherwell Hamilton v Kilmarnock Partick Thistle v Inverness Caledonian Thistle Ross County v St Johnstone

Monday

Dundee v Dundee United (1845)

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