Celtic forward Anthony Stokes has told the Glasgow Evening Times he feels he’s working harder than ever to try and force his way into the first team.
Stokes has been used inconsistently by manager Ronny Deila this season and appears determined to try and force his way into the first team picture at Parkhead over the final couple of months this season.
“I am probably working harder than I ever have. Training is very intense,” he said.
“I have managed to drop a few pounds and I do feel as though I am probably as fit as I have ever been in my career.”
He’s made 17 starts in the Scottish Premiership this season, with seven goals so far and if he can increase that tally to double figures by the end of the season, the Bhoys should be in a good position as a result.
Deila is fortunate to have a number of options up front, which he can rotate to keep everyone fresh and motivated but Stokes will likely have aspirations of forcing his way to the position of the club’s key forward before the end of the season.
All the manager has to do is play on that and use it to create competition on the training field as well as in big games to try and intensify the competition.
One of the best ways for any manager to improve the squad of players he has is to try and create an intense training environment with competition for all key places in the team.