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STOKESY OF THE ROVERS

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FORMER Celtic striker Anthony Stokes last night completed his three-year deal with Blackburn Rovers – as predicted by CQN yesterday.

And the Republic of Ireland star admitted new Ewood Park boss Owen Coyle was the reason he snubbed his ex-Hibs manager Alan Stubbs who took over at Rotherham at the end of the season.

Stokes was released by new Hoops gaffer Brendan Rodgers after spending the last four months on loan at Easter Road after a fall-out with Ronny Deila.

The 27-year-old insisted he is looking forward to a new start in his career and said: “I had a good chat with the gaffer during the week and was very impressed with him.

“He had only positive things to say about me and I’m just looking forward to bedding in and getting a good pre-season under my belt.

“Having a manager who believes in me gives me a lot of confidence and as a striker you need that, but it’s going to be down to how I perform.

“But I have to say, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Stokes scored 77 goals in 192 games across a six-year spell with Celtic where he won four Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and a League Cup.

And, of course, he famously scored two goals to end Hibs’ 114-year wait to win the Scottish Cup when they triumphed 3-2 at Hampden last month and he was also named Man of the Match.

Other clubs who were reported to be interested in Stokes included Birmingham City, Leeds United, Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town, Nottingham Forest, Preston North End and Wigan Athletic.

 
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