Double Targets For Griffiths
Updated Saturday, 4th May 2013
Leigh Griffiths could end his time at Hibs with two records in his pocket
Leigh Griffiths admits he owes Hibs manager Pat Fenlon everything for his goal laden season, and is keen to repay him with a Scottish Cup win. Off the field Griffiths has struggled to stay out of the spotlight but, with his manager's careful guidance, Griffiths has been able to score 27 goals so fare this season and put himself on the verge of breaking a 40 year-old Hibs record. Easter Road has not had a player who has scored 30 goals since Alan Gordon and Jimmy O'Rourke both reached those heights in the 1972-73 season but Griffiths is now just three away with four games to play. The Cheque Centre PFA Scotland Player and Young Player of the Year nominee will hope his aim is true on Sunday when his side travel to Rugby Park to face Kilmarnock. Griffiths also has the William Hill Scottish Cup final meeting with Celtic on 26 May 26 to look forward to. The Easter Road fans will hope that Griffiths still has some goals left in his locker as they strive to win the prize that has eluded them for the last 111 years. Griffiths is set to be called back from his latest loan spell with Hibs to to Wolves this summer and is keen to sign off with a cup success.
Griffiths said: "The manager has really helped me this season. We've had talks in training, wee meetings here and there, just to find out what's been going on. If I'm being down or not really talkative in training, he will try and find out why. I just go into training, keep my head down and then go away and spend as much time as I can with my kids."
Griffiths recognises that he owes Fenlon a debt of gratitude for helping to reignite a career that had been dampened following his 2011 move to Molinuex. He said: "I've said it before, the gaffer has been like a father figure to me, especially this season, and we have seen the rewards he has got for his faith in me. I've scored 27 goals this season and hopefully I can get a few more. I've got the chance to be the man to fire Hibs to Scottish Cup glory and to make the manager a legend here. If I'm not going to be here next year, then what a way to bow out by winning the Scottish Cup. I meet fans when I'm out and they keep reminding me how long it's been since we won it. As a Hibs fans, I know more than anyone how happy we could make them if we were to do it. It's been the best year of my career so far. My target was 20 goals because the most I'd ever scored was 21 with Dundee in the First Division. So to score 27 in the SPL, which is a lot tougher league, is great. But I'm not done yet and I want to reach that 30-goal tally. If I do it, the manager will have played a huge part in that."
Griffiths is not looking to be seen as the man who has saved Hibs season. The Edinburgh club sat top of the SPL in November but have tasted just one league win since the turn of the year to leave them outside of the top six in ninth place. With seventh-place still possible, Griffiths believes he and his team-mates can still prove their qualities in their last three games of the season. He said: "Teams go through bad spells. Thankfully I went through my bad spell when the team was doing well and Eoin Doyle was scoring a few goals. People who say Hibs are a one-man team are getting a wee bit carried away. Yeah I've scored a few goals this season but the team at the start of the season was doing really well. We haven't done so great in the last few games but hopefully we can pick that up with four games to go."