Martin O'Neill claims Anthony Stokes is one of the laziest players he's ever seen

Martin O'Neill suggested that Hibernian striker Anthony Stokes, on loan from Celtic, is one of the laziest players he's ever seen.

Former Celtic manager and current Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has told The Independent that he thinks Anthony Stokes is one of the three laziest players he's ever seen.

O'Neill, who won 75% of his matches in five years as Celtic boss before leaving for Aston Villa in 2005, is currently preparing for Euro 2016, having guided Ireland through the qualifying play-offs against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Key players like Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Shane Long will be in the squad barring any late-season injuries, but fringe players will be looking to make their mark.

Forward Anthony Stokes has nine caps for Ireland - the last of which came in 2014 - but has been frozen out of the side having fallen down the pecking order with O'Neill's former club Celtic.

The 27-year-old has re-joined former club Hibernian on loan until the end of the season, and he has scored two goals in eight appearances as he looks to make a late charge for Ireland's Euro 2016 squad, having been included in a 40-man squad to face Switzerland and Slovakia later this month.

Now, O'Neill has had his say on Stokes, telling The Independent that it's important for Stokes to be playing again, as he can't really pick players who aren't featuring on a regular basis, hence his recall.

O'Neill also joked about Stokes' workrate, suggesting that whilst he is a talented player, he's also one of the three laziest players he has seen in his lengthy career as a manager - a suggestion that Celtic fans may well agree with from his performances in green and white hoops.

"It's important that he's back playing again," said O'Neill, "Anthony won't mind me saying 'Anthony is Anthony' - he's a talented player and I would say possibly (one of the) three laziest players I've ever seen. Lazily talented or talented lazily. I'm never sure which way it goes.

"I love him to death, he is a great character. Seriously, I'm not saying when I pare down the squad that he is going to make it but at least he is back playing again," he added.

Do you think Stokes will be in Ireland's Euro 2016 squad?

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