Leigh Griffiths last night pleaded with Celtic boss Neil Lennon to unleash him on Rangers a week today.
The Hoops striker hit a hat-trick in his side’s 5-0 win and then grinned at the mention of keeping his place for the Old Firm derby.
“I was born for Ibrox,” he said. “I’ve never been beaten there with Celtic. I have started there twice and scored twice with two victories.
“I’m not sure what it is about there that brings the best out in me.
“It’s the same with Tynecastle. It seems to be a place that people hate and I thrive under that kind of pressure.
“These are always the games you want to play, derby games, and I am desperate to be involved, but what the starting line is, is up to the manager and the coaching staff – we’ll take it as it comes next week.
“We know how difficult it will be because they’ll be fired up. They’ve not been playing well and will want to prove a point against us.
“It’s about us going there and being solid and making sure we come away from the game with something.
“If the manager starts me, or has me on the bench to go on and make an impact, I’ll be ready to go.
“Getting a hat-trick is always nice but I just wanted to get back on the scoresheet and try to get myself back into contention for next week.”
Griffiths is likewise excited about the thought he will have boosted his chances of making Nations League play offs.
Israel are due at Hampden on March 26 with national coach Steve Clarke due to announce his squad nine days earlier.
“Steve’s still not been in touch but he has a difficult job to do picking 25, 26 guys. It’s not just about one individual,” said Griffiths.
“The hat-trick will send him a big message but there will be other players that will be trying to prove a point between now and whenever he names the squad.
“When the squad’s announced, if I’m in it, I’ll be absolutely buzzing. If not? I’ll keep working away on the training ground and the more opportunities that come with Celtic the more chances I’ll have of scoring goals.”
Griffiths also franked manager Neil Lennon’s assertion there would be more to come from him.
“I can still get fitter and work on my game, like I do every day in training.”
“But the more minutes I get on the pitch the more opportunities I’m going to get to score.
“Everyone could see today how well myself and Odsonne Edouard can link up with us both getting on the scoresheet.”
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