ANTHONY STOKES admitted he was “devastated” Mikael Lustig didn’t get a hat-trick against Motherwell.
The Swedish defender returned to first team action as a second-half substitute for Adam Matthews and netted two quickfire goals in the landslide 4-0 triumph.
Lustig, missing since being injured in November, almost claimed a historic trio when he struck the bar later on.
Stokes said: “I was devastated for Mikael that he didn’t get the hat-trick.
“We could see it coming from the bench when we got a free-kick. We’ve worked on that set-piece in training quite a few times and we knew as soon as we saw Mikael talk to Kris Commons that it was on.
“If we’d have got a late penalty, he would probably have taken it, just to give him the chance to get a treble.
“But he came on, played well, been solid at the back and he’s scored two great goals – particularly his second one.
“Although it is disappointing that he didn’t get the hat-trick, it was a great return for him in a massive game.
“We’re back at the top of the league and we want to try and stay there until the end of the season.”
Stokes, speaking on Celtic TV, added: “I was a bit surprised to start against Motherwell because I’ve only trained for a day or two so I still need to build up my fitness and my sharpness.
“However, I felt I contributed to the team and four goals at home is good.
“I got two good balls into the box for the first two goals, but the most important thing overall was that we produced a good performance.”