Leigh Griffiths had much to ponder as he jetted out for some sun on his back this week.

The Celtic striker left the country with the sounds of Hampden still ringing in his ears and although his jubilation was punctured by Harry Kane’s leveller, Griffiths took significant comfort from the set-pieces he pinged beyond the out-stretched arms of Joe Hart.

It has been a season in which Griffiths has had to confront his own demons at times.

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On the outside looking in at times at Lennoxtown as Moussa Dembele was the headline act at Celtic this season, Griffiths has had ample time for reflection.

But as he took a ten-day break to recharge his batteries, the player has vowed to return to the club itching to prove himself all over again.

“We find out next Monday who we have got in the qualifiers and I can’t wait for them to come around,” said Griffiths, who was linked with moves to West Brom and Newcastle this week.

“I am going away to get a bit of sun on my back and to get the feet up for a bit but I will still be doing a wee bit too. I want to come back in good shape and I want to get ready to fight for the jersey.

“We all know what went on over the course of the season but I feel as though I have finished it pretty strongly. Now it is a case of getting back to Lennoxtown and maybe just showing the manager that I am ready and willing to work hard and keep my head down.”

Griffiths has surpassed all expectations since his arrival at Celtic. There have always been those who questioned his ability to play at the top level – but the player himself has insisted that he has never felt overawed, regardless of his environment.

Read more: Fraser Forster: Celtic is a special place - Moussa Dembele and others shouldn't rush to leave

It was Griffiths’ goals last season in the three Champions League qualifying rounds which helped Celtic to make it into the elite playground of the group stages of the tournament, with the striker scoring against Lincoln Red Imps, Astana and Hapoel Be’er Sheeva.

By the time that Brendan Rodgers’ side had progressed into a group with Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach, Griffiths was behind Moussa Dembele in the queue for the striker’s jersey.

So while the player can content himself with breaking his duck at international level last weekend, his next target is stepping up to Champions League goals.

“Obviously our first priority is to make sure that we do our work in the qualifiers and get back into the group stages,” said Griffiths. “It is such a massive thing for everyone to be in there, playing against the very best teams.

“It gives the supporters a lift and those nights were pretty special. You watch the Champions League on TV but to be a part of it was brilliant and it is something that we definitely want again.

“I have been questioned as to whether I could score at so many different levels; at Celtic when I first went there and then whether I could do it at Europa League level, Champions League level….I have never doubted myself.

“I have always been confident in my own ability and I think you need to have that. I am always hungry and I always think that I can score goals, no matter who I am playing against. As a striker I think you can’t afford to think any other way and I don’t.

Read more: Fraser Forster: Celtic is a special place - Moussa Dembele and others shouldn't rush to leave

“I would trust myself to score against anyone. Maybe the goals against England might cause one or two people to raise their eyebrows but I have always had that self-belief.”

Celtic remain adamant that Dembele, despite wide-spread interest, will not be sold this summer. Of course, there are various aspects that come into any transfer story and if there is a significant bid tabled for the player or the striker himself makes it clear that he wants to go – although there has been no indication of this – then the picture changes.

What is likely, however, is that Dembele will stay at Celtic until the qualifiers have taken place at the very least. If Celtic win their place in the Champions League then it may well be an additional carrot in keeping the highly thought of striker in Glasgow for another year.

For Griffiths, though, the challenge remains the same.

“I want to be in there on my own merit,” he said. “I was in for the last couple of weeks because Moussa had done his hamstring but I want to do enough to be in there no matter.

“So I will be keeping myself ticking over until we report back. I want to get a strong pre-season under my belt and get myself off to a flier when the football is back on.

“For now though it is a chance to switch off a bit. There is a wee chance to enjoy what we did this season and then come back ready to try and do it all over again.”