Leigh Griffiths: I just want to be judged on what I do on the pitch

The Celtic striker hopes to get back to scoring goals after joining Dundee on loan.

Leigh Griffiths: I just want to be judged on what I do on the pitch Mark Scates via SNS Group
Griffiths says the return to Dens Park is the best move for him.

Leigh Griffiths hopes to get his career back on track during a loan spell at Dundee and says he wants supporters to judge him on goals scored and nothing else.

The striker made a deadline day move from Celtic to Dens Park just two months after signing a one-year contract extension with the Glasgow club, reuniting with his former teammate James McPake, who is now manager of the Dark Blues.

Griffiths had fallen out of favour at Celtic, and the forward, who was a prolific scorer at his peak in Glasgow, has had off-field issues.

Most recently, the 30-year-old was cleared of any criminality regarding a claim he sent inappropriate messages to a 15-year-old, after police investigated a series of tweets that were posted online.

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Griffiths, who has also dealt with personal issues including mental health problems in recent years, says he just wants the focus to be on his contribution to Dundee and a return to form.

“People will say I come with a lot of baggage but I just want to be judged on what I do on the pitch and on the training ground,” he told STV.

“James [McPake]has seen me over the years, played against me, trained with me. He knows what I can do and that I’ve still got it.

“The last couple of training sessions have been great and I’m looking forward to another few days of training before we play Livingston next week.”

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Griffith played with McPake at Livingston and Hibernian and believes his close connection with his new manager can help get him back to his best.

“It’s massive [that it’s a manager I know],” he said. “You want a manager you know has got trust in you and knows exactly what you can do, and he does.

“It’s just about me trying to repay him now and making sure that I’m fit and firing on all cylinders, scoring goals and helping this team climb up the table.”

Though Griffiths is on loan for the season, he hopes a goal-laden spell in Dundee would help with a return to Celtic as an in-form player.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “I’m not going to use the word ‘convince’ because my goal record speaks for itself. It’s just about me making sure that I’m at it every day in training and in games, and showing people that I can still score goals and play well.”

And the Scotland international said that his departure had come with the blessing of Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.

“It was more myself [that drove the move],” he said. “The manager was happy for me to stay there but for me, at my age, I wanted to go and play games.

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“He was happy for me to do that and I feel this is the best place for me.

“We didn’t really speak about the move, I just went to see him and said I was at an age where I need to play, and he agreed. There was no bad blood and we left it on good terms. Then it was just a matter of the clubs getting together and reaching a decision.”