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  • Stokes makes a case for Celtic defence

    Stokes makes a case for Celtic defence

    By: Mark Henderson on 08 Dec, 2014 10:56

  • ANTHONY Stokes has heaped praise on Celtic’s defence after they amassed their third successive shut-out in Saturday’s 1-0 success away to Motherwell.

    Most of the post-match attention focused on the Hoops’ fluid attacking play which saw them cut open the home defence on a number of occasions, with only the heroics of goalkeeper Dan Twardzik keeping the score down.

    However, the Irishman was keen to highlight the contribution of Celtic’s backline, particularly Efe Ambrose who has returned to the side in recent weeks following Jason Denayer’s injury.

    “Efe has come in and done very well,” Stokes told the official website. “Obviously Jason has a niggle at the minute but we have that quality in the squad – if someone is injured or is lacking form someone can step in and take their place – and Efe has been outstanding

    “They have been doing very well. We have been strong at the back and Craig Gordon has been immense since coming in. We have momentum at the minute, winning games and we're keeping clean sheets as well.”

    Stokes bagged the only goal of the game in the sixth minute and it was a perfect example of the effectiveness of the high-intensity pressing game that Ronny Deila is implementing on the team.

    The Hoops hit-man fired home from close-range after Stefan Johansen had intercepted Fraser Kerr’s pass, rounded Twardzik and teed him up.

    “When Stefan took his touch, I knew he was wide enough that he would have to square it. It was an easy enough finish in the end,” Stokes said.

    “The way we're playing at the moment is different to who we played in the past. We have one striker up front but everyone has been given a licence to get forward – the wingers, midfielders and you have Stefan hanging around there as well. It’s a case of pressing higher up the pitch and trying to get as many runners in the box as possible.”

    Celtic’s win over the Steelmen was their seventh successive league victory and Stokes and his team-mates are determined to continue this impressive form over the rest of the festive period.

     “We always go out with the mentality of trying to win every game,” he said. “Confidence is high at the minute and momentum is good and we will try to take our chances.

    “We haven’t set a target. We just want to pick up three points in every game. We are on a good run at the minute and we want to maintain that.”

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