Deila brands Stokes ‘disrespectful’ over Twitter rant

CELTIC manager Ronny Deila accused Anthony Stokes of showing a lack of respect to his team-mates after the Irish striker vented his frustration on social media when he was left out of the match-day squad for the 3-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Anthony Stokes vented his frustration on social media. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Stokes, who has not made a first-team appearance since August, was in Celtic’s 20-man squad which travelled north on Saturday night.

But when he was not even named among the substitutes for yesterday’s match, he took to Twitter to aim a sarcastic barb towards Deila.

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“Buzzing to be brought all the way up to Inverness with the team to sit in the stands today, lovely weather for it too…,” posted Stokes.

Then, responding to a reply suggesting he is happy to pick up his wages despite not featuring in Deila’s plans, he said: “Obviously I am! You would too if you were doing double sessions every day, fit and ready to play.”

He then added: “Who gives a f**k about wages when your (sic) not playing games! It’s all about playing and contributing not picking up a wage.”

Stokes is under contract to Celtic until the summer of 2017 but now seems likely to be moved on in the January transfer window.

“It is disrespectful to the other boys,” said Deila. “Every week we travel with 20 players. The manager puts out 11, seven on the bench and there are always two left out. If that’s harder for him than someone else, then for me that’s not a team player. It is not the best way to behave for your team-mates.

“Life is not about punishment. It’s about reacting to your values. I will talk to him about it. What’s important for Stokesy is that he has to show the work first before he speaks. If you do that, you always have a future. But so far, it’s been more talking than performances. Does he have a bad attitude? I wouldn’t say that.

“But I will say that it’s about the team and you have to stand behind the team. I don’t think that was a good thing.

“I see social media as a new thing coming into football and I hadn’t seen so much of it before. It’s important as there are so many channels where you can speak.

“It’s fun when everything is going well, but when things are not going well, you have to stand up. It takes energy out of you and I only want my players to use energy on the pitch and the training pitch. I can’t control their whole lives, but they have to understand what it is like to be involved in these things and how it can affect different players.”

Stokes later took to Twitter again to apologise, posting: “Sorry for earlier Tweet. Hope fans can appreciate my frustration, heat of the moment.”

On the pitch, goals from Callum McGregor, Leigh Griffiths and a Danny Devine own goal earned Celtic a win which stretched their lead at the top of the table to seven points.

Deila was satisfied with his team’s display in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat at home to Ajax last Thursday which eliminated them from the Europa League. “It was a tough game, Inverness are a good team and they work us,” he said.

“They have a lot of energy and, on the back on the result on Thursday against Ajax and having just two-and-a-half days to recover, it was a good win.

“We didn’t control the game with the ball, but we did defensively and with a couple of very good and effective attacks.

“I’m pleased with the boys that we bounced back and won and put ourselves in an even better position in the table.”

Inverness remain just two points clear of the relegation play-off place but manager John Hughes was encouraged by his team’s showing.

“I felt for 60 minutes we were every bit as good as them and matched them,” said Hughes. “We knew there would be a little bit of fatigue in their play and we had to be on the front foot. We played some real good football but needed to be a wee bit more cutting in the final third.”