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STOKES’ HAMPDEN AIM

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ANTHONY STOKES believes some fans won’t be satisfied unless Celtic take at least five goals off the new Rangers in the League Cup semi-final.

And for the Irish striker, veteran of numerous Glasgow derbies of the past, the showdown at Hampden Park a week on Sunday will be the biggest of all their games this season.

He said: “It is going to be slightly different this time because there has been a big gap since we last played them. (Actually Tony it is the first time we’ve ever played them!)

“It is a one-off game and the formbook goes out the window, especially when it is a rivalry of this magnitude. It is going to be a special occasion.

“It is important we get this week out the way then, after Ross County, all the focus will be on the semi-final.

“For me, it has always been the biggest game. It is great to play in Europe, but with the rivalry and what it brings to the city, it is a special occasion and something I am really looking forward to.

“I know John Guidetti said he would score a hat-trick in the game and I would back him to do that. (Tony, he said he’d LIKE to score a hat-trick.)

“Although it wouldn’t surprise me if he said that he was going to score 20 in the game!

“Listen, one thing he doesn’t lack is confidence.

“I will be the happiest man in the world if he does score a hat-trick.

“It doesn’t matter who scores as long as we win.

“I have had fans coming up and telling me if we don’t win 4-0 or 5-0 it will be a bad result!

“But you have to be realistic. It is a one-off game and it is going to be a fiery atmosphere.

“I am sure everyone is going to fight for every ball like you do in an Old Firm game (sic) and I am sure there will be a bit of niggle to it as well.

“We just need to settle into it and play our own game.

“Personally, I would take 1-0 victory every game, every day of the week.

“The most important thing is to win the game.”

Celtic have given supporters assurances that club employees would NOT refer to Old Firm – we hope that this interview is not going to be the norm with Celtic players using the term which is inaccurate and annoying for the wider Celtic support.

 
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