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Sunday 19 November 2017

I could've scored six -- Stokes

Anthony Stokes scored his first hat-trick of the season yesterday at Peterhead then admitted that he should have scored six against the Third Division outfit.

With Gary Hooper out injured, Stokes was joined in attack by Georgios Samaras and showcased all his qualities to take Celtic into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.

Nine minutes from half-time he tapped in a pass from Samaras to open the scoring, 12 minutes after the break he turned quickly to drill in a low diagonal shot to ease Celtic's worries before completing his hat-trick in the 82nd minute with a helping hand from goalkeeper Paul Jarvie.

Happy

"I'm happy with a hat-trick but could have scored six," Stokes smiled about two efforts that were disallowed and a couple of missed chances.

"It's not the best that I've ever played but I'd happily play badly every week and score a hat-trick!

"There's something pretty special about getting the match ball at the end of a game but, for me, the most important thing was we came here and got through. It was a tricky draw and you never know what to expect at grounds like this.

"Thankfully we were professional and got ourselves into the next round. The hat-trick was just a bonus. I thought we could've had a few more but we were delighted with the result."

Yesterday's treble took Stokes' tally for the season to 15 with Neil Lennon delighted by the form of the former Hibs striker.

Potential

It's unlikely that Giovanni Trapattoni will be putting in a call to the Celtic boss about the form of the striker but if he did he'd receive a glowing report.

Lennon said: "He's a great lad and he's having a great season, we want him to continue. He is a goalscorer and creates a lot for himself.

"He can tidy up his game, he's only a young man yet he's been around a while. He's got so much potential.

"He could have had six today. Some of his link-up play was not great but he always gets a chance in a game."

The fifth round draw for the Scottish Cup will be made at 2.30pm today by Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas and Italy's World Cup-winning manager Marcello Lippi.

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