Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers under no pressure to pick Leigh Griffiths
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 22/09/16 5:12pm
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers insists he does not feel under pressure to put Leigh Griffiths straight back into the side after the player's return from injury.
Griffiths scored 40 goals last season and had notched up seven more this campaign before he sustained a hamstring problem and then a calf complaint which have kept him out for the last four games.
French striker Moussa Dembele took over the lone striker's role and scored a hat-trick in the 5-1 home win over Rangers.
He scored the second goal in the 2-0 Betfred quarter-final win over Alloa on Wednesday night, taking him on to eight for the season.
Griffiths is set to return to the squad for the visit of Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday, but he does not appear to be guaranteed a starting berth.
Asked if he could find a way to get Griffiths and Dembele into the team, Rodgers said: "It is not a big worry for me. You have to pick a team that works, it's not about finding the room for names in the team.
"I have great defenders that might not play, I can't get all of them in. So a team always has to have offensive and defensive balance and if that means some players have to miss out, they miss out.
"But the spirit in the team, everyone respects that we are picking a team to win the games and thus far the mentality has been superb and we hope to continue that at the weekend."
Celtic created numerous chances in their last two games but were held to a 2-2 draw by Inverness and then took 83 minutes to open the scoring against League One leaders Alloa.
"I am nearly sure that if Leigh had been involved in the last couple of games he would have helped himself to some goals," added Rodgers.
"However, the most important thing is that we are creating chances and the regularity with which we are getting into the final third.
"We needed a bit more quality in our final ball last night and that might have made the chances easier. We just need to show that bit more composure."
Meanwhile, Celtic's latest UEFA hearing has been put back to September 28, the same day as their home Champions League match against Manchester City.
The governing body's disciplinary panel will hear the case over the displaying of dozens of Palestinian flags during the Hoops' Champions League qualifying victory over Israel's Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
UEFA opened proceedings over "illicit banner" charges following last month's game at Celtic Park.