Thursday 8 December 2016

Celtic boss Ronnie Deila blasts Ireland striker Anthony Stokes for lack of respect

Ronnie Esplin

Published 29/11/2015 | 18:23

Anthony Stokes thinks Ireland's qualifying group is too tight to call
Anthony Stokes thinks Ireland's qualifying group is too tight to call

Manager Ronny Deila accused Anthony Stokes of disrespecting his Celtic team-mates by taking to social media to complain about being left out of the squad for Celtic's 3-1 Ladbrokes Premiership win over Inverness at a freezing Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.

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The out-of-favour Irishman has featured only twice for the Hoops this season and was on the bench for the Europa League clash against Ajax on Thursday due to injuries and suspensions.

Stokes was left out of the 18 for the Inverness match after travelling north with the team, and he wrote on his official Twitter account: "Buzzing to be brought all the way up to inverness with the team to sit in the stands today, lovely weather for it too."

The former Hibernian forward followed it up by tweeting: "Who gives a f*** about wages when your not playing games! It's all about playing and contributing not picking up a wage."

The Norwegian boss said: "It is (disrespectful) for the boys. We travel every week with 20 players and the manager puts out 11 and seven on the bench and there are always two left out. If that is harder for him than somebody else, then for me he is not a team player. What is important with Stokesy is that he has to show the work first before he speaks and if you do that then you always have a future. But so far he has been more (about) talking than performances."

Stokes would later aplogise.

Midfielder Callum McGregor - who started against Ajax only due to injuries and suspensions and scored in the 2-1 defeat - retained his place and was again on target with a fine drive from distance with only seven minutes gone but that was cancelled out by Caley striker Miles Storey in the 39th minute.

Leigh Griffiths drove in his 19th of the season from a Kieran Tierney cross just before the hour mark and with five minutes remaining substitute Carlton Cole, making his debut, tangled with Danny Devine with the ball ending up in the net.

Deila pointed to McGregor, 18-year-old Tierney, and Scott Allan, making another substitute appearance but yet to start since signing from Hibernian, as an example of the attitudes he is looking for.

He said: "What I am so happy about is when you have a good attitude in training, you work hard, you are loyal, very humble and want to learn, like Callum McGregor and Scott Allan.

"You see they get pay-back and that is so nice to see as a coach, the same with Kieran Tierney. Scott was a big player at Hibs, he knew it was a big step to come to Celtic, he knew he had to be patient and work hard and he has never said 'I need to play' to me, he keeps on working and he gets his chance in the end.

"Those three are unbelievable examples of players who have been out and worked their way back into things and show on the pitch that 'I want to play.'"

Deila was pleased to see his side bounce back from their Europa League exit to Ajax to go seven points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the table and also to see Cole make his debut.

He said: "I am very pleased with the boys after what happened on Thursday. Carlton needs time. He hasn't played since May. There is a lot more to come from him."

Inverness boss John Hughes saw glimpses of improvement in his side. "I felt for 60 minutes we were every bit as good as them.The second goal was a cheap goal to give away, the third goal might have been a handball from Cole but that is neither here nor there. We are nearly there but yet so far away. But I think everyone can see where are a good football side."

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