CELTIC and Anthony Stokes have a long history, from the player rejecting to come in under Gordon Strachan to finally getting the move he craved under Neil Lennon and then it all falling apart when Ronny Deila came on the scene.

192 appearances, 76 goals and 64 assists during his time at Celtic is not a bad return for the Irishman.

Stokes was part of a Neil Lennon team which was hell for leather and he thrived alongside Gary Hooper who he built a great partnership with.

Fast forward to Ronny Deila’s time at the club, Stokes admitted everything changed. Something some of the players didn’t like. You would put Stokes and Commons up there in that category.

Deila was demanding more of a press from his front men and wanted them to work harder, the things he was trying to implement was a philosophy removed from Neil Lennon’s time and Stokes wasn’t happy.

The striker said being shifted out to the wing of a front three was tough and the beginning of the end for him at Celtic.

“There was this whole new philosophy of pressing. I wasn’t happy with how it was going.” Stokes admitted to RecordSport.

“Maybe it was because I was going from Lenny, a gaffer I loved and was so happy, to a different approach that I didn’t really think would work.

“With Deila it was a weird one, I liked him as a fella. He was a genuinely good guy.

“But I just didn’t feel his philosophy suited us and it wasn’t really how Celtic played.

“The reason I went on loan was I wasn’t playing. I had a big fall out with him [Deila].

“Celtic said to me, ‘you can go here and you’ll get x amount of your wages’ but I said I won’t be going.

“It’s just until the end of the season. I sort of knew the writing was on the wall and that I was going to be leaving then.

“I held firm on it and thought, I’ll go to Hibs, I had just Started seeing a new girl in Scotland and thought, I don’t want to be anywhere else.

“I love Hibs and everything about the club.

“It’s a great training ground, great stadium, great fanbase. Everything about it.

“Next to Celtic for me, it’s easy the best club for me in Scotland. I always loved my time there.”

Stokes has went on to be a footballing nomad. Ironically, the manager he loved at Celtic was the one to force his Hibernian exit when they both were at the Edinburgh side.

The Irishman has had his personal struggles and on more than one occasion his clubs have sacked him for no shows.


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