Celtic forward Anthony Stokes has described a challenge he’s faced for five years at the club in the Glasgow Evening Times.
Stokes is one of the more experienced players in Ronny Deila’s current squad and has revealed that he’s not in the least bit bothered about having to fight for his place in the side, which is something he’s grown used to.
“I've been at the club for five years and seen plenty of players come and go and there always has been competition, and any time it's happened in the past, I have risen to it,” he said.
“So I am just trying to do the same thing again, focus on my football, work hard and hopefully do my talking on the pitch.”
Stokes has been a regular feature in the side’s attack this season with 17 starts in the Scottish Premiership, but Celtic have different options up front, which has sometimes kept him out of the team.
Leigh Griffiths has been very consistent while Deila has also shown a willingness to use loan striker John Guidetti at times.
Competition for places is healthy for any squad but it can be damaging to players because it causes a dip in morale.
Fortunately, in Stokes’ case, being in and out of the side is something he has had to deal with before and he’s done so effectively.
What Deila will want is an organic competition to grow between players which improves the standards in the playing squad.
That could create a greater intensity in training and match situations and if Celtic win multiple pieces of silverware as a result, it’s difficult to see a downside.