Stokes urges Europa caution

14 August 2011 01:15
Celtic striker Anthony Stokes believes fans should be cautious ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with Sion.

The former Hibernian striker scored in his third successive Scottish Premier League game on Saturday as the Hoops swept Dundee United aside 5-1 at Parkhead to make it three wins out of three then said: "It is not always going to be like that".

Before he went off with an ankle injury which leaves him doubtful for the visit of the Swiss side, Gary Hooper had opened his account for the season and there were further goals from Ki Sung-yueng, Joe Ledley and substitute James Forrest.

However, unlike most visiting teams to the east end of Glasgow, United had a go and they could have had one or two more goals to add to Johnny Russell's first-half strike, with manager Peter Houston noting that Celtic keeper Lukasz Zaluska was named sponsors' man of the match.

Houston also noted his side's poor defending which made their task impossible and which Stokes may have been alluding to when he warned those supporters who may expect another easy win against Sion.

"It's a good start to the season," said the Irishman. "The most important thing was that we got nine points from three games and for me personally it has been going well.

"Scoring five goals and playing well gives confidence a boost, and we are optimistic about it (Sion game).

"We want to go on a good run in Europe and nine points from three games is the best way to be going in to the game.

"But it is not always going to be like that (Saturday).

"You seen that at Aberdeen last week, they were hard to break down.

"And we left ourselves a bit open at times (against United) but we took our chances well."

"I am always looking for more," said Neil Lennon, who confirmed that he will look at Borussia Moenchengladbach striker Mo Iddrissou in training at Lennoxtown this week and who hopes for good news on Hooper's scan tomorrow.

The Hoops' boss will be aware of the self-perpetuating anxiousness which seems to grip Celtic Park any time the ball is near their penalty area but he has little to worry about offensively.

The Parkhead squad looks to contain an abundance of goals and Lennon was pleased that they were shared out against United, as he recognised Stokes' eye-catching start to the season.

"He is a goalscorer," the former Celtic skipper said. "He looked very, very lively, especially early on in the game.

"He is in a good place at the minute so we are hoping that continues for the majority of the season."

Houston will not be the last manager this season to take only positives away from Parkhead instead of points.

"We will go back to the basics of defending properly," said the Scotland assistant manager, who expressed fears about the impressive Russell being heralded as a ready-made replacement for David Goodwillie, who recently departed to Blackburn.

"There was a lot of spotlight on David Goodwillie but he's away now and I don't want the responsibility of scoring all the goals to be Johnny Russell's," said Houston.

"Goodwillie was given a couple of years in and out the team before he made the position his own.

"Johnny scored the goal and worked hard. He will be given time and could be as good as Goodwillie eventually but he is not quite there yet."

Source: Team_Talk