Dundee manager James McPake has insisted Leigh Griffiths “wants to play football” and be known for what he does on the pitch rather than off it after the on-loan Celtic striker was charged by police after booting a smoke bomb into a stand containing St. Johnstone fans.

dundee v rangers
KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND – MAY 24: Dundee manager James McPake looks on from the touchline as Kilmarnock boss Tommy Wright reacts in the background during the Scottish Premiership Playoff Final 2nd Leg between Kilmarnock and Dundee at Rugby Park on May 24, 2021 in Kilmarnock, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Griffiths was named in the starting XI for this afternoon’s Scottish Premiership clash with Rangers and, speaking before the game, McPake was hopeful the striker could produce “something special” however Griffiths would limp off before the break to be replaced by Jason Cummings.

“He’s looked very good in training, he’s getting fitter,”  McPake said before kick-off [BBC], “This is his third game in a week, it’s a long time since he’s done that. He’s looking a threat, the goals aren’t going in yet but if we keep creating the chances Leigh will score goals.

“In terms of his frame of mind, he wants to play football, he wants to be known as Leigh Griffiths the footballer and today is a game for him where we could see something special. He’s one of the best strikers in the country. If I’ve got him fit and available and he’s working hard in training then I’m going to pick him.”

With a Scottish FA ban looming for Griffiths as well as a potential injury lay-off the striker is going to have some way to go to get people talking about his on-pitch exploits in the near future.

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