Tuesday 20 March 2018

Celtic boss Deila claims suspended Stokes still has future at Parkhead


Anthony Stokes
Anthony Stokes
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Ronny Delia says there were more reasons for Anthony Stokes' two-week suspension than his Twitter tantrum last weekend, but insists that the Dubliner still has a future at Celtic.

Stokes has been told to stay away from the club's training complex for the next fortnight, with Deila suggesting that his outburst in Inverness after he failed to make the match-day squad represented a tipping point.

"I'm not stupid. I think everybody understands it's not about that single incident [the tweet]," said the Norwegian.

"There have been some issues in the past and we felt we had to put down a marker.

"I think that's going to be good in the end for us and Anthony as well. After 14 days he will come back and hopefully we can keep him working.

"I wouldn't go into the different issues - that's between me and him and the club. These are things we keep internal."

Deila added: "I have talked a lot with Anthony - many times - and I will do that in the future as well.

"Am I getting through to him? Hopefully."

Stokes, who has 18 months left on his contract, has made just two appearances this season, with the last of those coming in August.

However, Deila claims that the Dubliner can force his way back into contention for a first-team place.

Cardiff and Preston have been mentioned as potential destinations for the 27-year-old who is a huge outsider to make Martin O'Neill's Euro 2016 squad.

"Every player in this club is in the same situation. He has a contract and he has talent and we want to get the best out of that talent.

"Anthony has a future here. Of course, there are things that need to improve.

"If he makes the improvement that we want, everything is possible. If he didn't have any ability, he wouldn't be here. He's a goalscorer and a great player.

"Everybody at this club gets a lot of chances but we need to see improvement in different aspects and, if they don't do that individually, then we need to use different things to get through to them."

The Celtic players have to follow social media guidelines, yet Deila - who has been under pressure on account of the Hoops' European struggles - can understand that out-of-favour players will be unhappy.

"It's obviously something you want to avoid but there are a lot of good football players who want to play and things will happen when you have ambitious people," he said. "So it's nothing new. But we have to sometimes put a mark on what is accepted and what's not accepted."

Irish Independent

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