CALLUM MCGREGOR believes that the return of a fit and focused Leigh Griffiths will be like Celtic having a new player during the title run-in in the second half of the season.

McGregor was delighted to see his teammate not only return to the starting line-up for the weekend Scottish Cup win, but also get a goal and look sharp in attack for Neil Lennon’s side.

And he has backed the forward to not only aid Celtic’s quest for a ninth title in a row, but also boost Scotland’s chances of reaching Euro 2020.

“We were all pleased for Leigh Griffiths,” McGregor said.

“He’s been working hard to get back to full fitness, so it was great to see him starting and scoring. “Everyone knows the quality he has - when he gets a chance you expect him to score – so the goal will help him.

“Having him available again is like having a new player. If we can get him back to his previous heights, then that will be a massive bonus for us and him from now until the end of the season.

“His pedigree speaks for itself so it’s down to Leigh and also the rest of the players here to help him recover his sharpness. But he looked good at Firhill and, hopefully, he’s ready to play a big part for us and for Scotland for the remainder of the campaign.

“He’s ready to go and he’s hungry because he’s missed a lot of football. It’s important for everyone that we get him back to playing week in, week out.”

With Patryk Klimala checking in to Celtic Park last week, McGregor hopes that the pressure on Odsonne Edouard to get the goals for his side will now be shared around between the three forwards.

“At a club like this, you need someone at the top end of the pitch who’ll score the goals,” he said.

“Odsonne has had to shoulder that responsibility for us for most of this season and you need to remember that he’s still a young guy.

“However, if Leigh is back and scoring goals - and Patryk has looked impressive from what we’ve seen of him – that should help us spread the goals around because you need options up front.”