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'Life is tough for him right now' - Celtic striker Griffiths to take time away from football

03:03 GMT+3 13/12/2018
Leigh Griffiths, Celtic
Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that the Celtic forward is set for a break from football because of 'ongoing issues'

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths is to take time away from football after manager Brendan Rodgers revealed "life is tough for him right now".

The Scotland international has scored two goals in 11 Scottish Premiership appearances for the defending champions this season and played as a substitute in last Saturday's 5-1 home win over Kilmarnock.

However, Rodgers said on Wednesday that Griffiths, 28, has had "ongoing issues" for several months and that the club would do its best to support him through a difficult period.

"Leigh will be out of football for a little period of time," said Rodgers, who did not get into specifics about Griffiths' issues, citing confidentiality.

"He's had ongoing issues for a number of months. He's reached a point where it's a struggle for him.”

Griffiths joined Celtic from Wolves in 2014 and has scored 104 goals since his arrival at the club.

He has, however, been reduced to a bit-part role this season, with club record signing Odsonne Edouard Rodgers’ first choice striker as it stands.

The Celtic boss is confident that Griffiths will be back in action sooner rather than later and says the club will give him all the necessary support in what is a difficult period for the Scotsman.

"We are going to give him all the professional help he needs to get him back in a good place,” Rodgers added.

"He's a great guy but football and life is tough for him right now.

"We want to help him with that and we'll let you know when he's back. I'm very close with him. We have a strong relationship but he's had number of issues outside of football.

"The most important thing for managers and coaches is the welfare of players. It's no longer a weakness to talk now. He has all of our support - the team, the staff and the supporters."

Without Griffiths, Celtic host Salzburg in the Europa League on Thursday looking to seal a place in the knockout stages.

Rodgers’ side need just a point to secure qualification for the last 32 and knock out Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig in the process, with opponents Salzburg guaranteed to finish as group winners.