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We will look past Griffiths, Lennon warns Wolves

NEIL LENNON last night warned Wolverhampton Wanderers that Celtic could abandon their pursuit of Leigh Griffiths.

THIRD MAN: Charlie Mulgrew slides the ball past Craig Samson, the Kilmarnock goalkeeper, to put his side three goals in front at Celtic Park. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS
THIRD MAN: Charlie Mulgrew slides the ball past Craig Samson, the Kilmarnock goalkeeper, to put his side three goals in front at Celtic Park. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

"We have other options," said the Celtic manager after his side defeated Kilmarnock 4-0 to remain unbeaten in the SPFL Premiership and equal a club record of clean sheets stretching back to 1913-14. "We do have other people in mind and not just for that position. I'm not saying the move is dead but we do have other people in mind," added Lennon who will speak to Peter Lawwell, the chief executive, today, to assess the situation over Griffiths before the window closes tomorrow.

"We will consider whether to go back in again," he admitted after confirming there had been "no movement" after Wolves rejected the initial bid from Celtic for the Scotland internationalist. However, the Black Country club did sign Leon Clarke from Coventry yesterday, prompting speculation that Griffiths could be allowed to leave.

Lennon also confirmed that no bids had been made for any of his players. Georgios Samaras and Joe Ledley - who was outstanding last night - are both out of contract at the end of the season and the Celtic manager hopes they will stay beyond tomorrow's deadline so further talks can be held with them. "We do not want to sell anybody," he emphasised.

He praised his team for an "exhilarating" display against Kilmarnock as Celtic completed 23 games of league football unbeaten. He singled out James Forrest, Scott Brown and Ledley for particular praise saying of Forrest: "It is no coincidence that with him coming back we are scoring goals at a very high rate."

He added: "Brown and Ledley were outstanding in midfield and it was a really good all-round performance."

Fraser Forster continued his run of clean sheets, blocking well with his feet from Manuel Pascali in the second half.

"Fraser made a terrific save and he's done that the last two or three games," said Lennon. "He deserves the accolades that come his way."

Allan Johnston, the Kilmarnock manager, said he had kept Kris Boyd on the bench because the striker was nursing leg injuries but admitted: "I don't think you can take many positives from that if I'm being honest.

"Celtic were different class; the way they passed the ball and the way they moved. If anything, the only thing we are taking from are some lessons on how they win the ball back and move and pass the ball."

He said he could not "gamble" on Boyd's fitness, adding that the former Rangers striker would "definitely" be at Kilmarnock after the window closes. "We can't afford to lose someone of his quality," he said. "It was evident tonight - he's such a big loss for us. There are no suggestions that there's anything afoot with regards to him leaving."

New signing Alexei Eremenko was not involved as the club are awaiting international clearance for the Finland internationalist.

"We'll have a chat with him and see how he is in the next couple of days to see if he's going to be fit to go on the bench," said Johnston. "He's not even trained for a couple of months so it will take time to get him match fit."

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