Ronny Deila has insisted that Anthony Stokes still has a future at Celtic despite being left out of the squad that beat Hamilton Accies 4-0 yesterday.
It was the second game running that Stokes was absent from the match-day squad after returning late from Dublin for the Europa League tie with Inter Milan.
Ronny Deila described it as a minor issue after the draw with Inter Milan but the 26-year-old was again left on the sidelines yesterday with Mubarek Wakaso given a place on the bench despite barely featuring all season.
Stokes’ indiscretion comes at the worst possible time with the arrival of Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven adding to the competition for place in Deila’s reformed midfield.
“Yes, that’s 100% the case,” Deila replied when asked if Stokes’ absence was down to football reasons. “Anthony has things he was to improve and work on. He’s very motivated to do that.”
After appearing as a second-half sub against St Johnstone last week, Stokes returned to Dublin for the weekend but missed his Tuesday morning flight to Glasgow after getting caught up in traffic.
On the park it was business as usual for Celtic after a goal-less first half. Kris Commons and Stefan Johansen (pictured) both netted within ten minutes of the restart. John Guidetti followed up his goal against Inter Milan by heading in Celtic’s third in the 78th minute with Commons completing the scoring four minutes later to lift Celtic three points in front of Aberdeen, who visit Celtic Park next week.