We will miss Izaguirre - Stokes

08 August 2011 07:30

Striker Anthony Stokes insists the Celtic squad is strong enough to cope with the loss of last season's player of the year, Emilio Izaguirre, who is facing between four and six months on the sidelines.

The Honduran left-back suffered a broken right ankle during the 1-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday and was told he requires surgery which will put him out for at least four months.

"He's a top player. I think he cleaned up with every award last year and that says enough about his ability," said the Irishman, who scored the only goal of the game in the 74th minute. "We're going to miss him but the good thing is we have a big squad with plenty of other players who are ready to step in and take his place."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon confirmed he was contemplating buying another left-back but Charlie Mulgrew stepped in well against his former club and Mark Wilson, who is expected to return from a groin injury against Dundee United on Saturday, can also play there.

Lennon immediately feared the worst when Izaguirre failed to get up following a clean sliding challenge from Peter Pawlett early in the game.

But Stokes said: "I don't think most of the lads realised it was that bad until after the game.

"It's terrible but it's just one of these things that can happen in football.

"I thought early on there were two or three hard tackles going in. It's always likely to happen especially on a greasy surface like that."

Source: PA