| 10.5°C Dublin

Stokes confiding in psychologist to help Celtic career

Anthony Stokes has revealed that a sports psychologist is helping him through his roller-coaster season at Celtic.

Despite being the club's top scorer with 18 goals, Stokes has sat out the last four Old Firm matches as Celtic have turned the screw on Rangers with three wins and a draw against the Ibrox side.

The 22-year-old striker is likely to lead the Celtic attack tomorrow at Inverness in the Scottish Cup, but he knows that when the team is read out at Hampden next Sunday for the League Cup Final against Rangers, he's almost certain to be watching from the substitutes' bench.

Psychologist Dan Abrahams has worked with Carlton Cole and Scott Parker and is the man that keeps Stokes on an even keel despite the Irishman's Old Firm set backs.

"The team are playing so well against Rangers and winning, which is what matters," the striker admitted diplomatically. "Before one of the Old Firm games I had nine goals in seven games. I was left out and felt disappointed, but then the team performed so well you can't go knocking on the gaffer's door -- you just need to take it on the chin.

"I speak to Dan about my football. It's just something to help me try and focus more.

"I've played an awful lot more games and I'm just used to it all a bit more now. You know you're going to have your setbacks but, at the end of the day, what the gaffer says is final. For me, the main thing is the team is winning."

Stokes can do his own bit for Celtic's treble bid at Inverness tomorrow, but he knows that the highlanders' Irish contingent will have something to say about that.

He added: "I know a few of their lads, like Richie Foran and Jonny Hayes, and they have some very good players.

"It's going to be a difficult game. They've had better results on the road but it's a long way and we have to go up with the right mindset."