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Anthony Stokes opens up on his strayed relationship with Deila that led to Celtic exit

Image for Anthony Stokes opens up on his strayed relationship with Deila that led to Celtic exit

Anthony Stokes has revealed that there was no major fall out with Ronny Deila that led to his departure from Celtic.

The striker had led a harmed life at times under Neil Lennon but there was a mutual respect between the two men that generally got the best results for Celtic.

When Lennon left the club in the summer of 2014 his replacement had some very different ideas to implement.

The concept of the 24-hour athlete was introduced but on the park there was space for just one striker with a high dependency on attacking wingers introduced.

Brendan Rodgers used a similar tactic but with James Forrest and Scott Sinclair to play the critical roles it worked out far better than Deila’s attempts to play Stokes or Stuart Armstrong on the left flank.

The Daily Record reports:

Speaking to Livingston captain Marvin Bartley, he said: “It really changed when Deila came in because he played one up front. Griff (Leigh Griffiths) had come in and he had done really well up front. It was sort of downhill for me after that.

“I started playing on the left, Griff up front and (Kris) Commons on the right. It was just very different the way we played with Lenny. Lenny was just all out attack. There was this whole new philosophy of pressing. I wasn’t happy with how it was going.

Maybe it was because I was going from Lenny, a gaffer I loved and was so happy, to a different approach that I didn’t really think would work.

With Deila it was a weird one, I liked him as a fella. He was a genuinely good guy. But I just didn’t feel his philosophy suited us and it wasn’t really how Celtic played. The reason I went on loan was I wasn’t playing. I had a big fall out with him [Deila].

Celtic said to me, ‘you can go here and you’ll get x amount of your wages’ but I said I won’t be going. It’s just until the end of the season. I sort of knew the writing was on the wall and that I was going to be leaving then. I held firm on it and thought, I’ll go to Hibs, I had just seeing a new girl in Scotland and thought, I don’t want to be anywhere else.

I love Hibs and everything about the club. It’s a great training ground, great stadium, great fanbase. Everything about it. Next to Celtic for me, it’s easy the best club for me in Scotland. I always loved my time there.”

Despite scoring twice in the Scottish Cup Final for Hibs there was no Celtic reprieve for Stokes when Brendan Rodgers took over.

Since leaving the hoops he has had spells at Blackburn and Hibs plus two clubs in Iran but is currently a free agent.

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