Deila lauds Griffiths impact

Ronny Deila hailed Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths after his match-winning performance against Hearts.

Griffiths produced a dash of quality to break the deadlock and grab his 14th goal of the season before setting up substitute Tom Rogic for the second to secure the Hoops’ place in the last four of the Scottish League Cup.

And Deila was delighted with the striker, who has had to stave off competition from Nadir Ciftci and new signing Carlton Cole – not up to match fitness yet – for the lone striker role.

“He keeps coming up with the answers this season,” Deila said. “He scores almost every game. He loves scoring goals because he’s a good footballer. He works hard for the team and I’m very pleased we have him.

“It was a good performance as well by Leigh. We deserved to win they didn’t create many chances so we controlled the game.

“We showed good balance when we attacked and they wanted to hurt us at long balls, set pieces and on the counter and they didn’t do that before 91.”

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson, who saw Arnaud Djoum score a late consolation, believes his side showed they’ve come a long way since last season when they were on the receiving end of a couple of heavy defeats to Wednesday night’s opponents.

“We didn’t look like we were going to concede for long periods of the game,” he said.

“Our quality could have been better on the counter attack when we broke, we had opportunities to do it.

“But we have come a long way in 18 months, the club has been in administration, got promotion to the top league and we are sitting here getting frustrated after a 2-1 defeat to Celtic when they were holding on at the end, desperate to get the win.”

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