Stokes ready for goal hunt

Stokes ready for goal hunt

Anthony Stokes is hoping to make his Celtic debut against Hearts in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this weekend with one instruction from manager Neil Lennon – to score goals.

Stokes signed a four-year contract with Celtic on transfer deadline day from Hearts’ Edinburgh rivals Hibernian in a reported £1.2m deal.

The 22-year-old, who scored twice against Hearts last season, is hoping to find the target in his first appearance for the Bhoys, if he can convince Lennon he should be selected ahead of his rivals for a forward place.

“The gaffer just wants goals,” Stokes said on Celtic’s official website,

“He just said to me to do what I did at Hibs, stay in the box and get on the end of things, and it’s up to me to put him in a position where I have to play.

“I know that at a club like Celtic there’s competition all over the pitch.

“It’s down to me to do well in training and force the gaffer into a decision.”

Stokes picked up a booking for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s against Switzerland last Friday, meaning he will be suspended for the clash with Turkey tomorrow.

The striker can now focus on Saturday’s clash with Hearts at Parkhead as Celtic seek a fourth straight league win.

“I’ve been watching Celtic this season and obviously it has been very disappointing in Europe but three wins so far and three clean sheets in the league, it couldn’t really have gone much better,” added Stokes.

“The international break has been good in a way because it gave me another match to get fit for the Hearts game, but I would rather be going straight into training.

“I know the main thing for me is to keep my head down, work my socks off and get myself in the team, and I’m sure the goals will take care of themselves after that.”

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