Leigh Griffiths admitted he was shocked to be introduced at half-time to save the day for Ronny Deila and Celtic.

The striker had missed the last three games with a calf injury and only returned to training on Friday ahead of the game.

Nadir Ciftci’s poor performance in the opening half forced Deila into an uncharacteristic substitution at half-time to force a reaction from his players.

Although it came in the dying minutes of the game, the switch at half-time paid dividends for Celtic and Deila as they moved three points clear at the top of the table.

Speaking after the game, as quoted by the Daily Mail, Griffiths said:

I had only trained yesterday, so I was a bit surprised when the gaffer came to me at half-time and said: “You are going on, get ready to go.” Thankfully it has paid off.

I was tiring towards the end but it was good to get out on the pitch and for us to get three points, with me scoring. It feels like I’ve been out for three months, never mind three weeks.

Steve Welsh/Getty Images Sport

It was Celtic’s first win at home since Halloween, much to the concern and displeasure of some fans who have grown tired of the poor performances.

I think we had to get the monkey off our back. We have got the Scottish Cup game now away to Stranraer. That will be a difficult match but we have to take care of it.

Like the glimmer of hope Griffiths provided, some fans are still backing the Norwegian to guide Celtic to their first domestic treble since 2001 and Champions League football next season.

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