Deila insists Anthony Stokes still has future at Celtic despite disciplinary action

Charlie Mulgrew And Anthony Stokes

Celtic forward Anthony Stokes will stay with the club despite being fined last week, says manager Ronny Deila.

Celtic eased to a 4-0 win over Hamilton Academical on Sunday, as Ronny Deila's men opened up a three point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

A brace from Kris Commons as well as goals from Stefan Johansen and John Guidetti gave Celtic the win just days after they drew 3-3 with Inter Milan in the Europa League.

The attention is now turning to the second leg of that tie in Italy this week, but a noteworthy story came out of the Hamilton game.

Forward Anthony Stokes came back late from a trip to Ireland last week, and was subsequently fined by manager Deila as the Norwegian took disciplinary action.

Stokes was left out of the Celtic squad to play Hamilton despite being a regular this season, and Deila told press after the game that it was simply a football decision - as reported by The Telegraph.

"It was a football decision - that's 100 per cent the case," said Deila. "Anthony has things he was to work on and he is very motivated to do that. We have a very strong squad and it's tough to play now. There are things we have been talking about for a long time and he has to step up."

When asked whether Stokes still had a future with Celtic, Deila responded with "Of course." - just weeks after he was linked with a move to Leeds United.

The former Sunderland striker may be pushed out of the reckoning by the likes of Gary Mackay-Steven, Stuart Armstrong, John Guidetti and Leigh Griffiths, and the Daily Mail reported in January that Leeds were interested in handing him a return to English football.

However, Deila's comments suggest that the 26-year-old still has a big part to play for the remainder of the season - but the summer transfer window will give a bigger indication over his long-term future with the Bhoys.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch