Celtic striker Anthony Stokes warmed up for Wednesday night’s Champions League visit to AC Milan with a goal against Hearts in a 3-1 win at Tynecastle on Saturday, then declared he wants a new contract sorted with his club and a new start with his country.
Stokes, 25, who made just one substitute appearance for Giovanni Trapattoni, hasn’t played for Ireland since he pulled out of a summer tournament in 2011 complaining of tiredness.
Like Andy Reid and Darron Gibson, he is hopeful now that the decision to sack the Italian will offer him a chance to return to the green jersey again.
Stokes said, “I have said since I have been left out the squads that I would love to be back in. It’s not down to me. I would love to be involved in the set-up but I am just concentrating on my club football and hopefully when a new manager comes in and I am still performing well, maybe I will get my opportunity.”
Asked about the decision to axe Trapattoni, Stokes added, “I think it was inevitable after the last couple of results. The results in the last couple of games have been obviously disappointing for the lads.
“Hopefully, whoever comes in can turn that around. It might be a good thing.”
As regards his Celtic future, Stokes said, “I’ve always said I want to stay but we’ll see what happens with that. I don’t know what is going to happen.
“My agent spoke to the club and obviously I turned down the first contract they offered. So I think we’re just waiting for the club to come back to us now.
“It’s not affecting me. I would like to get it sorted to be honest with you because I have only got seven or eight months left.”
Celtic have confirmed that summer signing Steven Mouyokolo will be out for six months with a complete rupture of an Achilles tendon.
Why all Irish men’s beards are red