Thursday 12 December 2019

Hibs join hunt as Deila tells Stokes to go on loan and prove worth

Preston were linked with a permanent move for the Celtic's Anthony Stokes before Christmas: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Preston were linked with a permanent move for the Celtic's Anthony Stokes before Christmas: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Ronny Deila says that Anthony Stokes is content to go out on loan before the end of the month, with former club Hibernian keen on battling Inverness for his services.

Hibs are trying to secure promotion from the Scottish second tier and, while playing at that level is unlikely to improve Stokes' international prospects, he needs games, with Deila making it clear that he's not in his immediate plans - although the Celtic boss insists that the Dubliner could have a longer term future at the club.

Preston were linked with a permanent move for the unsettled front-man before Christmas.

"A lot of clubs have been in contact who want to have Stokesy on their team," said the Norwegian yesterday.

"We will see what Anthony wants and what is best for the club. He is happy to go out on loan. He wants to get some games under his belt.


"It's important for everybody he finds himself, gets some good performances and can then perform for Celtic again.

"Hopefully he will get a good run of games, score some goals and get back in good confidence and the best shape he can be in.

"Does he still have a Celtic future? Yeah, everybody has that. He has a contract with the club and Stokesy knows the things he has to take care of."

Elsewhere, Preston boss Simon Grayson paid tribute to Galway lad Greg Cunningham after his winning goal against old club Bristol City on Tuesday. The left-back is on the fringes of Martin O'Neill's plans but a summer move to the Championship outfit has gone well.

"Greg is a top drawer player and lad and it's great to have him at our club," enthused Grayson, "He has been one of our most consistent players this season."

Wolves boss Kenny Jackett was also delighted with his Irish full-back, Matt Doherty, as he popped up as an unlikely marksman in a five-goal thriller with Fulham. Doherty made his name on the right side of defence but has switched to the left in order to get back in the side.

"I'm very pleased with him," said Jackett. "He wanted his opportunity, the opening has come at left back and he's taken it with both hands."

Cork City have made a significant appointment ahead of the new domestic season by appointing Kevin Tattan as High Performance Coach. Tattan has worked with Derby County and Australian Rules side West Coast Eagles and has put together a Strength & Conditioning programme for pre-season.

Former Irish international John Sheridan has been appointed new manager of Oldham Athletic.

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