Anthony Stokes backs Celtic to catch Rangers

Anthony Stokes celebrates scoring against Hibs at Easter Road
Stokes was on target against Hibernian in a 4-1 League Cup victory

Anthony Stokes is confident Celtic can make up a 10-point gap and overhaul fierce rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

"It's going to be tough, no doubt but I think we are well capable of doing it," said the striker.

"There is so long left in the season and we have a lot of Old Firm games before the end of the season so we can definitely get the points back.

"We have to focus on going on a good run and winning every game."

Celtic are also one point behind second-placed Motherwell, although Neil Lennon's men have a game in hand - against Dunfermline - over the Steelmen and Rangers.

Stokes scored in Celtic's League Cup quarter-final win over Hibernian at Easter Road on Wednesday and the Irishman has taken great heart from an impressive second-half performance.

As he prepares to face his former club again on Saturday, Stokes believes Celtic can build on the 4-1 victory in Edinburgh.

"I think the second-half last night was the best we have played this season," he enthused.

"It has been slowly coming in the last few weeks, we are all feeling that we are getting back to our best and I think we showed.

"We didn't defend as well as we could in the first half but in the second half we were outstanding and dominated the game.

"The difference was that the passing was slicker and we were more clinical.

"But we have to be more consistent with our performances."

Celtic may have easily swept Hibs aside to overcome a 1-0 half-time deficit but Stokes remains wary of Colin Calderwood's erratic side.

"They are coming to our place and we will fancy ourselves," he added.

"If we can perform anything like we did in the second half last night I am sure we will be okay.

"What killed them last night was that we came out early in the second-half and scored.

"I always found at Hibs that if you were playing against Celtic or Rangers, that takes a bit out of you.

"If they go ahead at a crucial time of the game then it's hard.

"But there might be less pressure on them going to Parkhead because I know what it's like playing at Easter Road, when the crowd are on your back it can be a hard place to play.

"So they have nothing to lose and we will have to be on top form."

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