Home / Football News / Rob Maclean: Leigh Griffiths, Lee McCulloch, Motherwell and Hamilton in trouble

Rob Maclean: Leigh Griffiths, Lee McCulloch, Motherwell and Hamilton in trouble

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright didn’t pull his punches when describing his team’s performance against Kilmarnock on Saturday

BBC Scotland commentator Rob Maclean continues his weekly column looking at the main talking points from the weekend’s football action.

Dembele still short of Griffiths’ target

It’s when you think that Celtic sensation Moussa Dembele is still 11 goals short of 40 that you realise how impressive Leigh Griffiths’ performance was last season in reaching that amazing total.

Now, I know Dembele could have 15 games to beat that feat if the champions elect get to the Scottish Cup final but he’s playing in a totally transformed team which creates chances for fun.

Highlights: Celtic 2-0 Hamilton

This dynamic Celtic side plays football that’s light years ahead of the often underwhelming fare served up under the management of Ronny Deila in the last campaign.

That makes the goalscoring of Griffiths, who probably needs some cheering up at the moment, all the more remarkable.

Win in Perth good for McCulloch’s CV

Lee McCulloch must be getting close to nailing down the manager’s job at Kilmarnock.

The 38-year-old caretaker manager guided his team to an emphatic win in Perth on Saturday against fifth-placed St Johnstone.

Highlights: St Johnstone 0-2 Kilmarnock

In McCulloch’s other game in temporary charge, since previous boss Lee Clark left for Bury, Killie played well for most of the game against on-form Aberdeen before losing two late goals.

Kilmarnock have a bit of momentum going for them at the moment. They’ve taken eight points from their last five games to give themselves some breathing space just above the drop zone.

Now would seem a good time to make the stand-in manager, who’s been deputy to both Clark and Gary Locke before him, a permanent appointment.

Saints could yet march in to top four

The greatest tribute you can pay to St Johnstone is that, when they turn in a honking performance, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Manager Tommy Wright would have come up with an even stronger adjective to sum up his team’s first-half showing against admittedly impressive Kilmarnock.

Lee McCulloch (right) is embraced by St Johnstone assistant manager Callum Davidson

He reckoned that was the worst 45 minutes he’d seen from Saints in his time with the club.

They were sloppy and sluggish at McDiarmid Park and could have conceded more than just the two goals.

But even after that shocking showing they’re still only a point behind Hearts and a fourth-place finish is well within their reach.

Lanarkshire woes Part I

It’s been a frightening February for Motherwell fans who’ve watched their dodgy defence shipping an average of more than four goals per game.

Five of them were conceded in the first half at Fir Park on Saturday as Dundee ran riot. The home team got plenty players back into defensive positions but none of them took any responsibility in that 45-minute horror show.

Highlights: Motherwell 1-5 Dundee

Ten days earlier, keeper Craig Samson picked the ball out of the net seven times against Aberdeen at Pittodrie as a creaky backline crumbled in an even more dramatic fashion.

Until recently, I’d been thinking that the goals of Louis Moult and Scott McDonald would be enough to keep Motherwell in the Premiership.

But even their prolific strike rate might not be sufficient if Mark McGhee’s team continue leaking a glut of goals at the other end.

Lanarkshire woes Part II

The problem for Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton is scoring goals rather than losing them.

I’ve watched their last two matches – admittedly Saturday’s was at Celtic Park – and they’ve had a not-so-grand total of two efforts on target.

Craig Gordon’s one and only save was in the 93rd minute with the Premiership leaders playing in second gear.

Accies will be happy to have influential midfielder Greg Docherty back on the first-team scene after injury but top scorer Ali Crawford is the man they really need to get back in action sooner rather than later.

Their lack of cutting edge has seen them slip into the automatic relegation spot.

Check Also

Dortmund offer Aubameyang to Chelsea – gossip

For completed deals, check our transfers page. Transfer news Chelsea have been offered the chance …

Swansea City boss Paul Clement unsure of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s future

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored nine goals and assisted 13 for Swansea City in the Premier League …

Celtic: Olivier Ntcham seeks ‘big fun’ after £4.5m Manchester City exit

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Can you name all five former Barca players managing in the Premier League?

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Man Utd rated world’s most valuable football team

The Dallas Cowboys deposed Real Madrid as the world’s most valuable team in 2016 NFL …