RONNY DEILA has ordered frozen-out Anthony Stokes to copy Leigh Griffiths’ example if he wants to rescue his Celtic career.
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The Republic of Ireland striker has started only one game this season – the 3-1 win over Dundee United at Tannadice in August – and has also struggled to get a place on the substitutes’ bench.
He was nowhere to be seen in the Hoops’ 2-1 victory over Hamilton at New Douglas Park on Sunday.
The 27-year-old frontman, who cost ex-boss Neil Lennon £1million when he joined from Hibs in 2010, has seen his career stall this season although Deila still insists has something to contribute.
Last year striker Griffiths was out in the cold, but managed to persuade the Norwegian to bring him back into his first team plans and has been a striking revelation since the new campaign kicked off.
Now Deila is looking for Stokes to learn from his team-mate, improve his discipline and show he is worthy of a place in his squad for a crucial campaign at home and abroad.
The Parkhead gaffer said: “There are some of the same issues as Leigh.
“It’s about discipline and consistency in what he is doing. It’s never an issue of skill with Stokesy, it’s about getting the best out of himself.
“Then we need discipline with him over time. It’s not an attitude problem, it’s a discipline thing he has to do over time.
“We need to see some improvement. It is tough competition, but he is still at the club. He is an alternative on the wings and as a striker.
“He trains, but he has to show he is better than the others.”
Deila paid Dundee United £1.3million for Nadir Ciftci in the summer to bolster his attacking options, but the Turkish hitman has struggled to make an impact.
He has scored only one goal – in the 6-0 hammering of Dundee last month – as Griffiths has accepted the responsibility of leading the line while scoring 11 goals in all competitions.