LEIGH GRIFFITHS didn’t have to say anything after playing such a key role in turning around the deficit Celtic faced against Partick Thistle on Tuesday night, he had done all his talking on the pitch after climbing off the bench at the interval.

And given the exemplary attitude he had shown as he attacked the task at hand with relish, it wasn’t a surprise that he wanted his performance to be the statement that lingered from the night.

No striker, particularly one who has been as prolific as Griffiths, enjoys spending time among the substitutes, but even if that is where he finds himself once more against Hibernian on Saturday, you won’t hear him complaining.

Unlike unused substitute on the night, Moussa Dembele, Griffiths certainly won’t be moving on from Celtic in this transfer window, and if he has way, he never will. The only thing on his mind is joining exalted company by hitting a century of goals for the Glasgow giants, after notching goal number 96 at Firhill.

“I don’t want to leave here,” Griffiths said. “It’s a massive club and I love playing for this club. I am focusing on trying to hit that 100-goal mark and won’t be going anywhere.

“There’s been a lot of strikers who have came and went, but I’m still here. It seems I’ve been here longer than I have.

“But I love this club and don’t want to leave. The quicker I hit that 100-goal mark the better.

“Of course, it’s frustrating not playing but you can understand the gaffer going with the same team as Saturday, because we played very well.

“I’ve got no complaints I had to bide my time. I got the call at half-time to go on to try to change the game. It’s not just about me, it’s about the team.

“There are three strikers here who are vying for that one place. Ultimately two will be frustrated.

“In the second half against Thistle I thought Odsonne [Edouard] and me linked up well. The most important thing is we managed to get the win.

“You can’t take the huff if you’re not playing. You just need to bide your time.

“I’ve seen it time and time again. When I do get the chance, I try to take it.”

The names in Celtic’s exclusive ‘100 club’ read like a who’s who of club greats, and it shouldn’t be underestimated how difficult a task it is to earn the right to have your name etched on that exclusive list. The fact that John Hartson was the last man to achieve the feat over 10 years ago, tells you how special a feat it is.

“It would mean a lot to me,” said Griffiths. “I’ve never scored more than 50 goals for a club so to get 100 at a club like this would be massive.

“You just look at the strikers who have been here over the years who have scored a lot of goals but didn’t get to the 100 mark.

“There’s not many who’ve managed it. John Hartson did it but that was about 10 years ago, so when I do hit that mark it will be a great feat for me.

“But I am just concentrating on trying to stretch Celtic’s lead at the top of the table and trying to get a run of games.”

The win over Thistle was Celtic’s sixth since they lost their long unbeaten record to Hearts, with Conor Sammon’s penalty on the night the first goal they have lost since that disappointing day at Tynecastle. But Griffiths reckons there is more to come.

“The response has been good,” he said. “It was a bit of a blip against Hearts last time. I don’t think we could have played any worse - or Hearts could have played any better.

“The unbeaten run’s gone now, and we need to try to focus going on another one.

“I think we’ve still to hit top gear yet. The winter break was good for us last year and hopefully it will be the same this year.

“The Brechin game was a good one to come back to and although it was difficult going to Firhill, we got the win. It’s two important wins for us and we wanted to have some momentum going in to big games against Hibs and Hearts.”

Remarkably, Griffiths has yet to score against Hibs for Celtic, but despite playing for them previously and the Easter Road club being the one he has supported all of his life, he says he would like nothing better than to shatter that hoodoo this weekend.

“Hopefully I’ll put that right on Saturday,” he said. “It’s not difficult for me to play against them. People seem to make a big song and dance about it, saying I don’t play well against Hibs or don’t try hard enough against them.

“That’s definitely not the case. Hopefully I’ll get the nod to play them on Saturday and I’ll break my duck.”