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Thursday 16 August 2018

Stokes targets former club Hibs

In-form Anthony Stokes is looking to keep his scoring run going against former club Hibernian tomorrow.

The Celtic striker scored once at Kilmarnock on Sunday and twice against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Wednesday, and would love to complete his week with a goal or two against the Easter Road outfit.

Sections of the Hibs support were chanting for manager John Hughes to be sacked at the Co-operative Cup defeat from Kilmarnock in midweek after a grim start to the new season.

Hughes signed Stokes for Hibs and Falkirk but, despite acting as a father figure, the new Celtic striker won't think twice about increasing the pressure on his former boss.

"John Hughes is someone who I will keep in contact with for the rest of my career, and probably the rest of my life," Stokes said. "He has just done so much for me. There are a lot of good lads at Hibs but, once I get on the park, that's all pushed to one side.

"Hibs were great for me. I enjoyed my time there and scored a lot of goals, but it is like any club, if you leave, you know you are going to be their number-one target for stick. I want to go out there and beat them, at the end of the day that's all that matters.



Fare

"I would love to be involved. You always want to play against your old team-mates and see just how you fare."

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has plenty of options to choose from when he gets around to naming his team.

All of his three strikers scored in the 6-0 win over Inverness and Daryl Murphy is likely to go straight back into the team.

In midfield, Ki Sung Yeung put in a commanding display against the highlanders, while Scott Brown and Baram Kayal watched the match from the stand alongside Murphy.

Lennon will check on the fitness of Paddy McCourt and James Forrest before deciding on his team and is happy with the options that he has to work with.

He said: "We have good competition for places. I don't want the players to see it as direct competition between themselves.

"It's not as if I'm dropping anyone, I'm picking teams for certain opposition. With the form of the players, I haven't dropped anyone. They've either been rested or I've rotated the team.

"I think that we have got good finishers now in Stokes, Maloney, Samaras and Murphy. There are goals from them and from midfield with Juarez, Ki and Ledley, and that's pleasing."

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