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'Griffiths came back out of condition and overweight' | Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon has responded to Leigh Griffiths claims that he was fit enough to play regularly last...

'Griffiths came back out of co...

'Griffiths came back out of condition and overweight' | Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon has responded to Leigh Griffiths claims that he was fit enough to play regularly last season, saying the striker returned from lockdown overweight and in poor condition.

Griffiths told BBC Sport Scotland that he was given a "raw deal" at times by Lennon and interim manager John Kennedy, however, the former Celtic boss has rubbished those claims, stating that Griffiths declined the offer of individual training during the lockdown period in Scotland.

"He let himself down," Lennon said of Griffiths on BBC Sport Scotland.

"He is on full pay, for the three months of lockdown and he comes back, totally out of condition and a stone overweight, when he could not afford to be because he had not played much football in the previous 18 months to two years.

"We had worked really hard with him to get him back on track and before lockdown he was in the team, scoring goals and doing absolutely fine.

"Then he comes back completely out of condition, way, way behind any of the rest of them and for me, that was totally unacceptable.

"During the lockdown, the three months off, we opened the training ground. You could not come into the building but my fitness coach set up fitness training for the players every day.

"So you would come in, in groups of two, and train for an hour a day, fitness work, every day.

Leigh Griffiths replaces Odsonne Edouard Picture date: Saturday May 15, 2021.

"Callum McGregor, Scott Brown, James Forrest, Greg Taylor, Johnny Hayes, all the lads that lived in Scotland came in. Leigh did not come in one day, not one day during the lockdown.

"You can take a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink."

Lennon went on to intimate that Griffiths' lack of focus cost him a place in Steve Clarke's Scotland squad that exited the European Championships on Tuesday with a 3-1 defeat to Croatia.

"Leigh's trying to make it out that it was alright [the way he let himself down] and it's not.

"He's saying, 'I'll prove people wrong' - he hasn't proved anybody wrong. He's not at the level of being a Champions League player, he didn't get picked for Scotland, you have to ask why.

"He'll say he didn't play enough games, towards the end of the season, I wasn't there, John obviously felt that he wasn't in the right frame of mind or condition to play for Celtic, which is a very high standard and I don't think Leigh got anywhere near those standards over the last year or so," Lennon concluded.

Leigh Griffiths Sunday February 14, 2021.

Griffiths is currently out of contract at Celtic, however, he recently stated that new boss Ange Postecoglou is keen to keep him at Celtic for the coming season and discussions around extending his contract are ongoing.

Postecoglou and Celtic will both hope that Griffiths can return to his best this season as they look to reclaim the Scottish Premiership.

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Ange Postecoglou Celtic Celtic Park Leight Griffiths Lennoxtown Neil Lennon Parkhead SPFL