Ex-Celtic boss Martin O'Neill discusses situation surrounding Anthony Stokes ahead of Euro 2016

O'Neill And Sunderland

Martin O'Neill claims there is time for Anthony Stokes to break back into the Ireland squad.

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has told The Scottish Sun that the door is far from closed for Anthony Stokes, despite his controversial situation at Celtic.

Stokes, 27, has become a bit-part player under Ronny Deila at Celtic Park, and matters have become even worse for the former Arsenal youngster.

A series of controversial tweets before Celtic's game against Inverness at the end of November have led to a suspension from the Bhoys, as reported by the Daily Mail.

It looks like Stokes is heading for the Celtic Park exit in January, with teams in England no doubt keen to land his signature and rescue him from his Celtic hell.

Stokes will certainly be looking for any way to get first-team football under his belt, especially with Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign on the horizon.

Ireland qualified for next summer's tournament in France after a play-off win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Stokes - who hasn't been capped by Ireland since 2014 - will be clinging on to hope that he can break back in to the squad.

Now, Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, who spent five years as Celtic manager, has told The Scottish Sun that he won't get involved in what Stokes is going through in Glasgow, but left the door open for the forward to return to the national team.

"I certainly wouldn’t intervene. I just don’t know what’s happened," said O'Neill. "Obviously it’s been a tough time for him and Anthony’s a lad that you think thrives on feeling confident. Some of the managers that have had him in the past have said exactly that — he’s a confidence player."

"I don’t know where he is but is there time for people to make a bit of an impact yet? Absolutely. We’ve got games coming up in March, one or two players who have been in or around the scene will have the chance to go and stake a claim," he added.

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