Neil Lennon predicts more goals from striker Stokes

Neil Lennon
Lennon believes Stokes could be in line to play for Ireland at Euro 2012

Neil Lennon believes the best is yet to come from Celtic's star striker Anthony Stokes.

The Irishman notched up a second-half double to secure an away win at Inverness, after Terry Butcher's side were reduced to 10 men.

And Lennon believes Stokes, who has now scored 11 times this season, will continue to top the goalscoring tables.

"He's leading goalscorer at the moment and I think he can up his game even more," Lennon told Sportsound.

"We've had a good chat with him over the last few months.

"He has had a few off the field disciplinary problems but there is no doubting his talent.

"We just wanted him to knuckle down and he's been a huge revelation for us. There's more to come from Anthony.

"We've said to him to keep pushing because there might be a place in the Ireland team for him if he keeps playing the way he's going."

There was controversy in the 36th minute when Caley midfielder Greg Tansey was sent off by referee Stevie O'Reilly following as he jumped for the ball with Georgios Samaras.

That handed the momentum to the visitors who took full advantage.

Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

On the hour mark Stokes finished a fine move involving James Forrest and Gary Hooper before volleying in a second in the 72nd minute to make it eight goals in as many games.

"We were playing very well at the time. I felt we would score today whether it was 11 versus 11 or 10 versus 11. I didn't get a good look at the sending off from what I gather it may be soft but at the time my assistants felt it was an elbow in the face," Lennon added.

"That is exactly the kind of performance I want from my players.

"They matched them physically and played their football at the right time. We had to be patient today because Inverness are a difficult team to break down.

"But the first goal was a classic: probably the goal of the season as far as we're concerned."

The Irishman was also pleased with Celtic's supporters who were under scrutiny after investigations were launched into alleged pro-IRA chants following games against Rennes and Hibernian respectively.

"They were magnificent and I can't speak highly enough of them. They gave the team great backing."

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