Celtic striker Anthony Stokes eyes up SPL top slot

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes
Stokes was involved in setting up a strike for Gary Hooper against St Mirren

Anthony Stokes has warned Rangers that Celtic are determined to extend their winning run after Saturday's victory against St Mirren.

Celtic are four points behind Rangers in the Scottish Premier League table after the Ibrox side dropped points in a 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock on Sunday.

"I think we've improved a little bit, we've tightened up at the back," said Celtic's Stokes.

"We're not conceding as many goals lately - and it's paying dividends."

Neil Lennon's side have now won their last four league matches, while Rangers have dropped five points in their last two, although Stokes insists he isn't too concerned about what's going on in the other half of the city.

"We're just going to keep doing what we're doing - we're trying to bring that consistency into our game," said Stokes.

"In the last four or five games we've done that, so we just want to try and kick on.

"We want to keep on this run, keep winning games and keep the momentum going."

Celtic had been 12 points adrift at one stage, but Stokes believes it's too soon to suggest the momentum has turned in Celtic's favour.

"Early on in the season we had a bad spell," said Stokes. "I think we've come out of that now and we've shown what we can really do.

"We know it's four points now, but there's so long to go in the season, we'll see what happens.

"We're not too worried about what's happening at other clubs, we're just focusing on ourselves."

Celtic's form has improved recently despite the absence of key midfielder and captain Scott Brown.

Brown, who signed from Hibernian in 2007, has returned to training following an ankle injury but his long-term future is the subject of speculation, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

The midfielder has agreed new personal terms to but talks have stalled due to the fee demanded by the player's advisors, but Stokes hopes a resolution is found soon.

"It would be nice to keep him," Stokes said.

"He's a great player and a leader and if he can get it sorted it would be brilliant. But that's up to Scott to sort out with the club.

"We'd all love to see him here for a long, long time. Hopefully he can get it sorted out as soon as possible."