Leigh Griffiths: Celtic striker aims for third time lucky in Scottish Cup final

Leigh Griffiths (right) and Callum McGregor model Celtic's new kit
Griffiths (right) and Callum McGregor model Celtic's new kit, which pays tribute to the Lisbon Lions

Leigh Griffiths is determined to end the season with a first Scottish Cup winners' medal to make up for previous disappointments in the final.

The Celtic striker was twice a runner-up with Hibernian in 2012 and 2013.

A win against Aberdeen at Hampden on 27 May would complete a domestic treble for the runaway Premiership champions.

"I've been to two cup finals before and got humiliated twice, so hopefully it's third time lucky for me," said Griffiths.

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Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths parades new strip

"It wasn't a nice feeling. But we've got a great chance this year to go one step further and get that treble.

"Lots of great players in the past have not quite managed to get there. We're only one game away and we've got a great chance, but we can't take anything for granted."

Aberdeen are a distant second in the league, while Griffiths was a late substitute when the Dons were brushed aside 3-0 in November's League Cup final.

Victory at Hampden would also bring an end to teasing from team-mates, with Griffiths on the receiving end of taunts from captain Scott Brown, goalkeeper Craig Gordon and Liam Henderson, who picked up the trophy while on loan at Hibs last season.

"I'm sick of getting tortured by Scott, Craigy and Hendo," he said. "They're always winding me up on the bus, saying 'put your hand up if you've won the Scottish Cup'."

'I can only focus on myself'

Griffiths, 26, scored his 15th goal of the campaign in last weekend's 5-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox, starting for the first time this year in the absence of injured top scorer Moussa Dembele.

Now Griffiths, who found the net 40 times last season, is eager to make the most of the opportunity.

Leigh Griffiths in action for Scotland
Griffiths has started Scotland's last two World Cup qualifiers

"It's unfortunate that Moussa got injured and that's how I got my chance," he said. "It happened earlier in the season when I was injured and Moussa came in and stepped up to the plate.

"Hopefully I can repay the manager with a few goals.

"The Scottish Cup final is a massive incentive and there's a Scotland game against England coming up [June 10] so I want to do the best I can.

"I can only concentrate on what I do. If I play well and score goals then I'll give the manager a big, big problem.

"The manager calls the shots. I can only focus on myself and not worry about whether Moussa is going to be fit."

Griffiths was speaking at the club's new kit launch, which incorporates a tribute to the European Cup-winning side of 1967.

"We always have to remember what these guys did," said the striker. "They will always be legends.

"There's talk about us being invincible [unbeaten domestically this season] but I don't think anything we do will come close to winning the European Cup.

"It's virtually impossible for a team like Celtic to go and win it now, so it makes their achievement that more important.

"The manager wants us to compete in the Champions League. He did it at the first time of asking this season and hopefully we get there next season as well and maybe even progress to the next round."

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