Sunday 8 December 2019

Stokes: I can still make Euro 2016

Anthony Stokes Photo: Getty
Anthony Stokes Photo: Getty newsdesk

Anthony Stokes believes that he is still in with a chance of making Euro 2016 despite dropping down a division to join Scottish Championship side Hibs on loan from Celtic.

The Dubliner didn't make a single Ireland appearance in 2015, with his grim situation at club level contributing to his absence from Martin O'Neill's plans. But he believes regular games could positively affect his situation.

"Of course I can win my Ireland place back," said Stokes. "It's down to me to put in the performances that will take me there and work on my fitness to get it back up to 100pc.

"I need to kick on and do my talking on the pitch. I don't see any reason why I can't win my place back. I haven't spoken to Martin in the last while and there's been no assurances.

"I just want to go out, perform and get my fitness levels up. I haven't played consistently for five or six months now so I just want to get back into things."

Stokes is insistent that he has a future at Celtic, even though he got in trouble with Ronny Deila for a social media rant about his exclusion from the squad for a game at Inverness.

"My relationship with the gaffer is absolutely fine," said the 27-year-old. "There has been no issue in the background. I haven't really had a look-in this season but it is what it is.

"It's easy to start saying things on Twitter but that was down to frustration. I apologised for it, I retracted it."

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