Ronny Deila believes Anthony Stokes will stay at Celtic

Parkhead manager dismisses speculation linking Ireland forward with Cardiff move

Celtic’s Republic of Ireland forward Anthony Stokes has been linked with a move to Cardiff City.

Celtic’s Republic of Ireland forward Anthony Stokes has been linked with a move to Cardiff City.

 

Europa League, Group D

Dinamo Zagreb v Celtic

Stadion Maksimir, Thursday 6pm BT Sport 1, Setanta Ireland

Celtic manager Ronny Deila was informed before he left Glasgow for Croatia that Republic of Ireland forward Anthony Stokes has been linked with Cardiff City but he “expects” the Dubliner to stay at Parkhead.

He said: “I heard it this morning. It is speculation again. I want everyone to stay. We have a good squad and Anthony has played well in the last weeks.

“I think he enjoys playing here. I expect him to stay.”

Deila, meanwhile, claims his Celtic side are on an honour mission against Dinamo Zagreb in their final Group D game at the Stadion Maximir.

The Scottish champions are already through to the last 32 of the competition as runners-up to section winners Salzburg.

Captain Scott Brown did not travel with the squad as he is on a yellow card while winger James Forrest was also left behind to work on his fitness.

However, the Celtic manager insists he is not taking the game lightly and claims he cannot relax and enjoy what is, for the Parkhead club, a relatively pressure-free fixture.

Speaking at Dinamo’s ground before Celtic trained, Deila said: “I can’t enjoy it because it is a new game and you want to win because you fight for honour in every game.

“It would be different if there was more pressure on us, it would be even harder if we had to win. But we want to have a good performance. I hate playing bad football games. So we have prepared as usual for this game.

“It is also an important match because if we get three points we have a better chance of being seeded next season in the Champions League, hopefully, and we also have an opportunity to develop ourselves.”

Sights and sounds

The draw for the next two rounds of the tournament will be made next week.Deila is also hoping the draw will allow him to enjoy the sights and sounds of a full Celtic Park, something he has been unable to do since he took over from Neil Lennon in the summer.

 

“We want 60,000 at Celtic Park, that is our ambition,” he said. “I hope we can play well until that game so everybody is really looking forward to it and we can play in a full stadium.”

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