MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 15:38:01| >> :60:1629:1629:
Mar 7, 2020 at 3pm UK at Celtic Park
Attendance: 58,998
St Mirren
Griffiths (18', 44', 74'), Edouard (54'), McGregor (90' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-0)

Neil Lennon: 'More to come from Leigh Griffiths after hat-trick'

Neil Lennon: 'More to come from Leigh Griffiths after hat-trick'
© Reuters
The Scotland attacker put three past St Mirren.

Neil Lennon watched Leigh Griffiths score his first hat-trick in four years as Celtic thrashed St Mirren 5-0 before claiming there is more to come from the  rejuvenated striker.

The Scotland attacker, 29, struck twice before the break to put the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders on easy street and after strike partner Odsonne Edouard had notched in the 54th minute, he fired in a third from outside the box for his eighth of the year and 11th of the season before midfielder Callum McGregor scored from the spot right at the end.

Griffiths, who missed a chunk of the season through personal problems and injury, left with the match ball for the first time since he scored three in an 8-1 win over Hamilton since January, 2016.

With eight games remaining, Celtic remain unbeaten domestically in 2020 and are 16 points ahead of Rangers who have two games in hand, the first of which is at Ross County on Sunday.

Lennon, delighted with Celtic's "emphatic victory" said of Griffiths.

"He is getting there but there is more to come from him, no question of that, but definitely good signs.

"He can get fitter, stronger, more endurance into his game.

"He has come a long way and I think that hat-trick will mean a lot to him personally.

"It must give him a huge lift."

Griffiths is keen to get back into Steve Clarke's set-up for the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel at Hampden Park later in the month.

Lennon said: "We are talking hypothetically here.

"It is down to Steve, he has been watching all the games I am sure.

"If he hasn't seen Leigh today, that might be a message to him from the player himself.

"I think his timing is pretty good.

"If you need a goal, and you have a player there, why not?

"He has answered all his critics. People were saying he is finished here and that was never the case.

"We have worked with him and were patient so he owes the club a lot and with performances like that he is starting to pay it."

St Mirren dropped to second bottom, three points ahead of Hearts, whom they play on Wednesday night

Saints  boss Jim Goodwin  said: "You never like to lose any game but concede five the way that we did is extremely disappointing because we've looked relatively organised in the weeks and months gone by and today is extremely disappointing.

"We didn't really get close enough to Celtic, we didn't show enough aggression all over the park.

"Celtic are miles ahead of anyone in this league. It's quite scary really, they probably never got out of second gear this afternoon and still managed to put five past us so we've just got to take it on the chin.

"Celtic are far better. You know we can't allow it to have too much of a negative impact on the group."

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