LEIGH Griffiths threw down the gauntlet to team-mate Moussa Dembele after scoring for a third match in succession in Celtic’s 2-1 victory over Dundee. The result sends Brendan Rodgers’ side 11 points clear at the top of the SPFL Premiership with two games in hand. Griffiths has endured a frustrating campaign after suffering a hamstring injury and also playing second fiddle to Dembele for long spells, but has still scored 12 goals.

The Scot retained his place at the apex of Brendan Rodgers’ 4-2-3-1 system for yesterday’s game and scored the free- kick that put Celtic in front on the stroke of half time. He was replaced by Dembele later in the game but, with Celtic still to play four more games before the winter break, including a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers, Griffiths made it clear he does not intend to surrender his position in the starting line-up.

“I’m in the team to score goals and help us get three points,” he said. “If I continue to do that I will be happy. I want to stay in the team. It’s up to Moussa to try to shift me now. That’s my goal. I was unlucky to get injured at the start of the season but Moussa came in and took his chance. I got my chance against Partick Thistle and I have not looked back. Hopefully come Tuesday I am in the starting XI again and can chip in with another goal.”

Rodgers admitted the winter break could not come quickly enough for his team, believing the three-week hiatus will give them a much-needed opportunity to recharge their batteries.

“It’s absolutely massive for us,” said the Celtic manager. “It will be a welcome break; one to recover the body and the mind, and then to prepare for the second part of the season. That allows us to reflect on how the first part has gone and to look at the areas we can be better, then add one or two signings, which will improve us and we can really kick on again.”