Celtic vs. Dundee United  6 - 2

Article

Stokes looking to cement place at Celtic

18 February 2013 05:23

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes wants to put his recent injury troubles behind him and play his way back into Neil Lennon's team.

The 24-year-old forward netted twice as the league leaders brushed aside Dundee United 6-2 at home on Saturday to move themselves a massive 18 points ahead of closest rivals Motherwell.

And while the club may be staring at a Champions League exit after losing 3-0 at home to Serie A leaders Juventus on Tuesday, the striker is keen keep working hard in a bid to earn a new contract and fire the side to glory.

"Every player wants as much game time as possible and I'm no different," he told reporters. "But I know I will have to perform in training and when I get my opportunity on the pitch.

"The manager wants me to go out and perform as well as I can but the way I look at it, is that I'm judged on goals and that's what I look back (on) at the end of the season.

"If you are hitting over 20 goals you are having a reasonably good season but it's hard now, coming back from injury and missing so many games, so I just want to score as many as I can before the end of the season."

After missing so much action already this season with an ankle problem, Stokes is keen to get back into the fray and prove himself once again - and he said the Scottish side will not relent until the final whistle on the last day of the season.

He continued: "We demand it from ourselves to perform in each game and fans want to see us winning every game.

"That's the mentality we go out with every week so we won't be taking our foot off the pedal until the end of the season.

"It's always nice to wrap it up as early as possible but even if we do we are going to be expected to win every game anyway so, whether we sew it up early or not, I don't think it is going to change the mentality of how we go into the games."

Article

SPL wrap: Celtic hit Dundee Utd for six, Motherwell win

16 February 2013 18:31

Braces to Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes made sure Celtic did not suffer a European hangover as they thumped Dundee United 6-2 in SPL.

The bottom-placed visitors had taken an early lead at Parkhead when Stuart Armstrong found the net, as Neil Lennon's men looked stung by their midweek loss to Juventus in the Champions League.

Dundee's Gary Mackay-Steven robbed Charlie Mulgrew, before racing forward and finding Armstrong inside the box and he fired the ball beyond Fraser Forster into the net.

Celtic weren't behind for long, as they went straight up the other end of the park and levelled things up, when the villain of their Juve loss Efe Ambrose got his head onto a corner from Mulgrew and managed to get the ball past Radoslaw Cierzniak in the visitors' goal.

The league leaders then took control of the game and the lead, as Emilio Izaguirre made his way down the left and whipped in a superb cross that found Commons, who volleyed the ball while falling into the back of the net.

The Parkhead faithful were up in arms as referee Bobby Madden awarded a penalty to the visitors after Matthews had looked to have put in a pinpoint tackle on Mackay-Steven in the box, but the spot kick from Jon Daly was superbly saved by Forster.

Celtic extended their advantage before the first half was finished after some superb work by Stokes saw the Irish striker eventually find Joseph Ledley, who curled the ball into the top corner of the Dundee net.

Lennon's side were then given a penalty of their own as Barry Douglas brought down Stokes inside the box and Commons made no mistake, firing the ball past the helpless Cierzniak for his second goal of the game.

The home side made it a rout as Stokes got on the scoresheet twice in the space of 12 minutes, before Johnny Russell fired home a late consolation.

Celtic lead the league by 18 points from second-placed Motherwell, who also wrapped up a comfortable result with a 3-0 win over Inverness CT.

Two Michael Higdon goals either side of a Nicholas Law effort saw Stuart McCall's men leapfrog Inverness into second spot.

A Paul Heffernan hat-trick helped Kilmarnock to a 3-0 away win over Hearts, while Ross County and Hibernian chalked up 1-0 triumphs over St Johnstone and St Mirren respectively.

Premiership table

# Team MP D P
1 33 +48 69
2 33 +13 54
3 33 +9 51
4 33 +1 46
5 33 -1 45
6 33 -4 44
7 33 +4 42
8 33 -3 41
9 33 -7 40
10 33 -11 37
11 33 -11 36
12 33 -38 23