Saturday 16 December 2017

Lennon's looking at new deal for Stokes

ANTHONY STOKES and Celtic are set to negotiate a new long-term deal to keep the striker at Parkhead.

Stokes has had to fight his way onto Neil Lennon's team-sheet and has only started one game against Rangers since moving to Parkhead.

Yesterday, he was restored to favour against his old club Hibs and nodded Celtic into the lead in the 14th minute before going on to play a major role in the 5-0 hammering.

"I have to say that that's the best Stokes has played in my time here," Lennon said. "I thought that he did everything right and I couldn't be more pleased with him.

"At a big club like this we pick a team on the day which we feel is right for the occasion.

"It's taken Anthony a bit of time to adjust but you can see that his attitude is spot on.

"If things go the way that we want them to go he'll be first in the queue for a new deal because he's made a huge contribution since I've been here."

Meanwhile, the Scottish football authorities are facing the nightmare prospect of Rangers hosting a title party to Celtic on March 25.

Ever since referee Hugh Dallas was hit by a coin after showing three red cards at Parkhead in May 1999 while Rangers clinched the title, the SPL and SFA have vowed to avoid staging another Old Firm title decider.


With the league splitting in half for the final five games they have managed to achieve that but, with Rangers deducted 10 points for going into administration, they face an entirely new scenario.

If both teams win all of their matches up to the March 25 showdown, Celtic will go to Ibrox 17 points ahead with both teams having eight matches left to play and 24 points up for grabs.

A Celtic win at Ibrox would mean a 20-point gap with seven matches and 21 points left to play for, meaning the title could be won by the Celts at Ibrox if Ally McCoist's side drop points between now and March 25.

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