Leigh Griffiths: Celtic boss Neil Lennon wants 'compassion' for striker

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths
Was this gesture from Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths aimed at TV pundit Kris Boyd?

Neil Lennon has urged critics of Leigh Griffiths to start showing the Celtic striker some compassion.

The 29-year-old has marked his return from injury and off-field problems with two goals in two games.

But Griffiths has come in for flak from TV pundit Kris Boyd, who questioned the Scotland international's previous application in training.

"I think a little more discretion or tact could be used at times," said Lennon.

"We want Leigh to flourish now and to be happy. He's got plenty of mental strength otherwise he wouldn't have been here at the club for so long.

"I don't think people these days give (what they are saying) much thought. We live in an age now where there's no accountability or responsibility at times, whether it's a mental health issue or another issue.

"It would be nice if they showed him a wee bit more compassion at times. At the end of the day he's a human being."

Griffiths has been the beneficiary of a tactical switch to a 3-5-2 formation since the winter break, partnering Odsonne Edouard in attack as opposed to being the Frenchman's understudy.

He scored and grabbed an assist in Wednesday's 3-1 victory against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, but threw some tape at fans as he was substituted with 10 minutes left in response to jeers from the home support.

And Griffiths also appeared to aim a shushing gesture at Boyd after scoring, interpreted as a response to earlier comments from the ex-Rangers player on his future at Celtic.

"I don't think he's done anything wrong to warrant controversy at the minute or back-page headlines - other than his goals," added Lennon.

"Yeah he has a bit of fun with his celebrations at times here and there. I'd be the first one to get on top of him if there was an act of ill-discipline or something beyond the pale that was doing damage to the reputation to the club.

"But I don't see that at the minute and I think it's unfair."

Lennon confirmed Jeremie Frimpong will sit out Saturday's visit of Ross County as he continues to recover from Alan Power's tackle in midweek.

"We don't think it's as bad as we anticipated," he said. "He's up walking about on it but there's a bit of soreness. We just don't know the complete diagnosis yet.

"I thought the tackle was overly aggressive and it could easily have been a red card. We've seen reds given for that."

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Watch: Griffiths gets involved with Kilmarnock fan

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