NEIL LENNON declared himself pleased with Leigh Griffiths as the striker responded to his manager’s call for him to apply himself with a goalscoring performance against Ross County.

Griffiths nodded home Celtic’s second in a 2-0 win, and while Lennon thought he should have scored more, he saw promise in the forward’s performance.

READ MORE: Neil Lennon says the pressure is off his Celtic players

"Griff needs to get sharper and he'll say 'well, you need to play me',” Lennon said. “I think the more he plays and stays fit he'll be an asset for us going forward.

"The minutes will do Leigh a lot of good and he scored a great header. [His goal] was probably the hardest chance of them all.

“He got better as the game went on, his movement was really good and he scores great goals.

"Leigh will be an asset for us moving forward if he can stay fit.”

Ross County boss John Hughes meanwhile was satisfied enough with what he saw from his men in his first game in charge, believing the examination at Celtic Park will tell him a lot about his new players.

READ MORE: Celtic 2-0 Ross County: Griffiths and Turnbull seal win

“It was very enjoyable,” Hughes said. “I was quite glad we came to Parkhead first because we were playing against the champions, and I could see who was up for it and what we’ve got. I could see who was not fazed by it.

“In terms of quality, I’m honest enough to say it has to be better, our ball retention has to be better.

“The effort and commitment was very good. That’s what Celtic do, they peg you back so when you get it sometimes there is nowhere to go.

“If you open up and play more they are capable of cutting you wide open.

“The goals we lost were preventable. We have to stop that, but I saw a togetherness. There’s enough there for me to know if we get a bit of luck we could be all right.

“Celtic is not our challenge – our challenge is in the bottom half of the league beating the teams around about us.

“Our cup final is really St Mirren.”

Hughes says that the injury which forced striker Ross Stewart from the action early in the first half doesn’t look too serious.

“He had a tight hamstring, but we got him off so hopefully he will be all right for Saturday,” he said.

“That’s a bit of lady luck again.

“If he’s not, someone else will have to stand up and say ‘I want a bit of that.’”