Different Stokes For Different Folks

27 August 2010 06:20
John Hughes wants Athony Stokes to stick with the green and white strip he currently wears Hibs manager John Hughes is preparing for Sunday's game against St Mirren with Anthony Stokes in his team despite speculation that he will be signed by Celtic before the transfer window closes on Tuesday. Stokes was the SPL's second-top scorer behind Rangers' Kris Boyd in season 2009-10 which always attracts interest. The Republic of Ireland international could have moved to Parkhead in 2007 as he was leaving Arsenal but chose to join Sunderland instead. However, reports have suggested the Neil Lennon is ready to make a move for one of the club's long-standing targets. Hughes, who signed Stokes from Sunderland on a three-year deal last summer, confirmed he was aware of Celtic's interest in the Irishman, who he also had as a loan player at Falkirk four years ago. However, the Easter Road boss is carrying on with plans for his team's trip to face St Mirren on the basis that Stokes will be able to play his part in the game. He said: "We can definitely prepare for Sunday's game with Anthony in the team. He was in at training on Friday and he was 100 per cent focused and ready to go for Sunday's match. I'm serious about this, all I know is there has been an interest. But at this moment in time I am just telling him to keep his focus on Sunday. I told him to make sure he was mentally prepared and ready to go, but if he plays the way he trained on Friday morning then I've not got a problem. I need him on Sunday. He's got goals in him and I need him." Hughes is an ex-Celtic player so knows how it feels to have the opportunity to play for the Glasgow side. However, he would not be drawn to speculate on whether Stokes would stay with Hibs knowing that Celtic are keen for his signature. Hughes went on: "It's up to the individual and it depends on the circumstances and where you are, but this is a wonderful club as well, with a fantastic infrastructure, a fantastic playing surface and it's a club I think is going places. I want guys of the calibre of Anthony Stokes playing for Hibs and scoring goals." Hibs started of the season with a 3-2 win away to Motherwell but are still on only three points after losing 3-0 at home to Rangers as the club opened their new east stand. However, Hughes is desperate to see his team recover from that disappointment as they bid to emulate, at least, the fourth-place finish they achieved last term. He commented: "The focus on Sunday has to be to get back to winning ways, if we want to be successful and try and do what we did last year. The problem is expectations, having got that fourth spot and scored a lot of goals and played some nice football. We've come back this year and the board of directors have worked very hard to build this fantastic stadium, and it just brings expectations. But it's my job to make sure we go and play to that." Editor Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba.net)Admin Team (admin@scottishfitba.net)This is Scottish-Fitba.Net


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