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Celtic's Anthony Stokes is confident he can play himself into a new deal Photo by: Google Images

Sports Digest - Irish striker Anthony Stokes wants a new Glasgow Celtic’s deal

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Celtic's Anthony Stokes is confident he can play himself into a new deal Photo by: Google Images

Irish striker Anthony Stokes is confident he can play himself into a new contract at Parkhead.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Juventus in Turin, Stokes admitted he wants a new deal.  His current contract expires in the summer.  

“Listen, I’ve no intentions of doing that whatsoever. I’m happy here and I’m happy in Glasgow,” he said.

“I’m enjoying my football, it’s been a long few months out and I’m just delighted to be back in the team contributing goals.

“I just love the club. I enjoy being here. Playing every week is all I want. Since I’ve come here I’ve played the majority of games week in, week out.

“It’s been a very hard season.  I’ve had a major injury and been out for six or seven months. But I think I’ve bounced back in the right way and got myself back in the team and scored goals. That’s all I can really do.

“If there isn’t an offer I’d move on. That’s football. It happens to managers every week and it’s the same with players. I wouldn’t let it affect me.

“I’d be disappointed obviously because I think over the last two or three years I’ve contributed to the team. I just want to keep working as hard as I can and keep improving as a player.”

Stokes did his prospects no harm with a goal as Celtic beat St. Mirren 2-1 in the Scottish Cup quarterfinal on Saturday with Joe Ledley opening the scoring.

Boss Neil Lennon was heckled by some St. Mirren fans, but had the last laugh when Stokes sent his team into the semis.

“It was going on from the first whistle really, just a bit of banter really, nothing over the top. Nothing new there in Scotland. In fact, the timing of one of the boys’ shouts was perfect,” Lennon said.

“He said, ‘Hey Lennon, you will get the sack in the morning’ just as Joe Ledley scored, so it was marvelous. I am delighted, we deserved to win the game.

“The equalizer was a comedy of errors and we have to stop doing that. We were so much in control of the game. St. Mirren did nothing to warrant them getting back into it and we gift-wrapped them the goal. But our recovery was excellent.”

Like Stokes, Ledley is keen to sign a new deal with Scotland’s champions-elect.

Ledley said, “There is no progress at the moment on contract talks but it is a fantastic club, I am enjoying playing here in front of fantastic fans and hopefully I can extend my stay.

“But for the moment I just want to concentrate on football. We will get this season over and done with and hopefully we will sort something out.”

Lennon, meanwhile, has criticized the decision not to deny Rangers any of the five titles they won while paying players with non-disclosed contracts.

Rangers have been fined but no titles were rescinded after the commission ruled Rangers “did not gain any unfair competitive advantage.”

Lennon said, “I only saw some snippets in the paper, I believe they were found guilty of paying £47 million over 11 years in non-disclosed payments.

“As regards the competitive advantage they gained or didn’t gain, a lot of other people will have a say on that.  I have my own views on that but I will keep them to myself for now.

“I don’t want to take anything away from what my team and club are doing. The way we behave, the way we do our business has been impeccable and that’s the reason why we are in the position we are in now.”

Lennon also had a dig at Rangers’ current plight when he said, “It wasn’t our fight, it was the SPL, they brought up the tribunal against Rangers.

“It doesn’t affect us. We have the quarterfinal of the Scottish Cup to prepare for and we are playing Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions league. We are not renting out a training ground.”

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