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Derek McInnes: We must stop Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths after I failed with bids to sign him

Derek McInnes previously tried to sign Leigh Griffiths
Derek McInnes previously tried to sign Leigh Griffiths

Leigh Griffiths was the one who got away for Derek McInnes and the Aberdeen manager knows his side will have to work hard to snuff out the in-form Celtic attacker today.

During his time in charge of St Johnstone, McInnes made repeated attempts to sign Griffiths, who will lead the line for the hosts at Parkhead this lunchtime.

The in-form Celtic attacker took his goal tally for the season to 12 after a superb solo strike against Hearts in Wednesday’s 2-1 League Cup quarter-final win at Tynecastle.

Griffiths is realising his potential at Celtic
Griffiths is realising his potential at Celtic

A shaky Dons defence has conceded 12 goals in the last five matches and McInnes knows his side will do well to contain Celtic’s most dangerous player.

He said: “I tried to get Leigh from Livingston but Dundee came up with the money. We tried to sign him again from them but couldn’t get him.

“Leigh knows I like him and have tried to get him in the past because I have spoken to him.

“One thing is for certain – I wouldn’t get him now.

“He’s playing really well, his allround game is better and he doesn’t get frustrated these days.

“He’s more patient now and waits for his chances to come along. He’s always had the ability to score goals but what I think he’s added is the knack of creating goals for other people as well.

“He’s a good team player these days and is getting stronger.”

Celtic will be without their captain Scott Brown as they bid to open up a seven-point gap at the top of the Premiership with a victory against the Dons.

Scott Brown will miss out for Celtic
Scott Brown will miss out for Celtic

The Scotland midfielder missed the midweek cup match against Hearts after suffering a knee injury in the warm-up.

McInnes added: “Celtic have a lot of good players and some are more key than others.

“Scott Brown is in that bracket but they showed against Hearts they can win without him.

“There’s no doubt he makes them stronger but no matter what 11 names are on it, they are all good players.

“Hopefully, Celtic will think the same when they see our team sheet.”

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