Glasgow Celtic fans will have been delighted to see Leigh Griffiths return to action last week, after a seven-month layoff due to injury.

The 28-year-old forward hadn’t played a competitive fixture since the Bhoys’ 5-1 victory over Kilmarnock back in December.

Griffiths made his long awaited recovery as an 80th minute substitute against Sarajevo, as Celtic booked their place in the second round of Champions League qualifying.

Now, the Hoops talisman has underlined his first aim of the season, to help the club compete in Europe’s elite competition.

“First and foremost, I want to get the club to Champions League group stages,” Griffiths told the Celtic official website.

“I have a good record of scoring goals in these big games. Hopefully I get the chance to do that and then play as many minutes as possible.

“I want to play as many minutes for club and country. We have massive games coming up and I want to be a part of that.”

Griffiths is already working towards fulfilling that aim, after he scored in Wednesday night’s 5-0 demolition job of Nomme Kalju.

It was the striker’s first start of the season and also his first goal since November, as the Bhoys have one foot in the next round of qualifying.

Griffiths will be determined to help Celtic avoid the same fate as last season, when they were dumped out of qualifying by AEK Athens at the third round stage.

Under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers, the Bhoys slumped to a 3-2 aggregate defeat and had to be content with the Europa League.

Griffiths believes he can play a key role in making sure they reach the group stages this time out, and his Celtic record backs that claim up.

Since 2014, the 28-year-old has scored 105 goals in 204 appearances, and will be looking to continue his prolific record this season.

If Griffiths can lead Celtic to the Championship League, it will not only secure their return to Europe’s elite competition, it will also see the club benefit financially.


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