LEIGH Griffiths last night expressed hope he can reach agreement with Celtic over a contract extension soon - so he can go on and hit the 150 goal mark for the Parkhead club in future.

Griffiths joined an illustrious group of 20 players to have netted 100 goals that includes Kenny Dalglish, John Hartson, Henrik Larsson, Bobby Lennox and Bobby Murdoch against FK Suduva.

The 28-year-old opened the scoring in the first-half of the Europa League play-off second leg match to send his side on their way to a comfortable 3-0 win and a 4-1 aggregate triumph.

However, the Scotland internationalist, who has taken four and a half years to rack up his century, revealed he will not be content to stop there after helping Celtic reach the Europa League group stages.

The former Livingston, Dundee, Wolves and Hibernian forward immediately set his sights on signing a new deal with the double treble winners and then adding another 50 to his tally.

"How many can I score for the club?" he asked. "That depends on getting this contract over the line and how long I go on to stay here – if I can set my next target at 150 that would be great. It might help negotiations.”

Griffiths added: “It’s a release, more than anything. It wasn’t just the goal, it was about getting off to a good start. They were always going to make it difficult for us by camping inside the penalty area so I had to go outside it for the goal, but it was a relief to get it.

“This is another milestone and I’m delighted to have got there. The last person to do it here was John Hartson and that’s good company to be in. Not a lot of players have scored 100 goals for Celtic and now I want to get as many as I possibly can.

"Was there a time when I thought this might not happen? Yes, when I was stuck on 98! Seriously, I just had to bide my time, knowing it was going to come.”

Griffiths has, despite his impressive goals per game ratio for Celtic, often found Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard preferred to him up front, in big European games and matches against Rangers especially, in the past two seasons.

But he is hoping his showing against Suduva - he also set up Kristoffer Ajer for the third goal of the evening - will convince his manager Brendan Rodgers to start him against Steven Gerrard's side at Parkhead on Sunday.

It remains to be seen if Dembele, who has agreed terms with Lyon, will be at Celtic after the transfer window closes at midnight today and Edouard hasn't played in over a fortnight due to a hamstring injury.

Griffiths, though, is hoping the 22-year-old stays and helps them defend their domestic titles in the 2018/19 campaign and reach the knockout stages of the Europa League.

“There’s been a lot of talk about who is going to be leaving and who’s coming in, but all I can do is put the ball in the net and give the manager a headache," he said. "I’ve done that and I’m looking forward to Sunday."

“We don’t know what’s going to happen. We want our best players to stay, of course, but we’ve also got to respect that our boys have ambitions.

“You’ve seen Dedryck (Boyata) in the last two games, he’s strolled it and proved why he’s one of our best centre halfs.

“Moussa is an out and out goalscorer, we all want him to stay but we’ve got to respect his wishes if he wants to move elsewhere. But hopefully by Friday night when the window closes he’s still here."

Celtic have won nine and drawn two of the matches they have played against Rangers since Rodgers took over as manager two years ago - but they are expected to face a far more difficult match this weekend.

Griffiths, who has netted three times against the Ibrox club, is undeterred by the challenge presented by Steven Gerrard's team and suggested the Liverpool and England great will find the Glasgow derby far trickier than the games he has overseen to date.

“We’ve nothing to prove on Sunday," he said. "The fans and everybody else knows how well we can play.

“Yeah, we’ve had a sticky patch and lost a couple of games, but that’s three clean sheets on the bounce now so we need to move forward. There’s a big game coming on Sunday and that’s when big players turn up.

“Listen, they’ve been playing well. Their new manager has come in and got them playing well but it’s a different kettle of fish when he comes up against us. He’s not come up against a team like us yet and hopefully we’ll do our talking on the pitch on Sunday.

“It doesn’t feel any different this tie - it’s a derby at the end of the day and every single player is going to be up for it.

“There’s going to be a bit of a difference with the crowd, we’ll have more fans behind us which a lot of their players won’t have experienced.

“We’ve got a lot of experience in our team who have faced that kind of derby before and hopefully that will stand us in good stead on Sunday."

Griffiths, who spent yesterday in court in Dundee where he has been charged with speeding, revealed he had been unwell, but was desperate to start in the Suduva match.

“I’ve been ill all day," he said. "I was sick at half-time and I said to the manager and the doctor that I probably only had 10 or 15 minutes left in me. I think I made one lung bursting run and that was me, my head was gone.

“But you saw that I was solely focused on my team, getting the job done and getting into the group stages. I left Dundee at 3pm so I had plenty of time to get down to the hotel, meet the boys and prepare well.

“It didn’t contribute to me feeling sick. I woke up this morning and I was ill so I’ve had to deal with it all day. I’m not going to make excuses. I’ve been ill, but I knew it wasn’t going to stop me playing and performing.”

Griffiths has praised Rodgers, who has been openly critical of his player at times during his time in this country, and his team mates for helping him to reach the 100 goal mark.

“Our manager has taken my game to an different level," he said. "The season before he came in I scored 40 and the team relied on my goals, but now I have competition breathing down my neck."