Belfast Telegraph

On loan Anthony Stokes is burning to impress Martin O'Neill

By Andy Newport

Anthony Stokes believes he can fire himself back into the reckoning for Euro 2016 after returning to Hibernian on loan.

Six months on the sidelines at Celtic left the Dubliner fearing his chances of joining Ulsterman Martin O'Neill's squad for this summer's showpiece were over.

But now, after agreeing a six-month move to Easter Road, the striker reckons he still has time to convince the Republic boss to take him to France - even if he is playing outside Scotland's top flight.

The 27-year-old previously spent a season in Edinburgh after joining the Leith outfit in 2009, when his tally of 24 goals in 48 matches earned him a £1.2million move to Parkhead.

Now he is hoping to rediscover that form after his frustrating start to the campaign.

Stokes said: "Of course I can win my Ireland place back. It's down to me to put in the performances that will take me there and work on my fitness to get it back up to 100 per cent.

"I need to kick on and do my talking on the pitch. I don't see any reason why I can't win my place back. I haven't spoken to Martin in the last while and there's been no assurances.

"I just want to go out, perform and get my fitness levels up. I haven't played consistently for five or six months now so I just want to get back into things."

Hibs boss Alan Stubbs fought off interest from Inverness, Dundee United and from clubs down south to land Stokes.

Meanwhile, Celtic manager Ronny Deila has taken Croatian midfielder Ljuban Crepulja on trial.

Belfast Telegraph