Stokes 'delighted' with Celtic form
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Forward Anthony Stokes has said Celtic are full of confidence heading into Thursday's UEFA Europa League tie with FC Sion after a 5-1 thrashing of Dundee United at Celtic Park on Saturday. Stokes had given the Hoops a fourth-minute lead before Johnny Russell equalised on the half-hour mark.

Gary Hooper restored Celtic's advantage three minutes later before second-half goals from South Korean Ki Sung-Yeung, Joe Ledley and substitute James Forrest helped the Hoops maintain their 100 per cent start to the Scottish Premier League season.

Celtic now face Swiss side FC Sion in Glasgow on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League play-off round tie as they bid to earn a place in the group stages. Irish international Stokes, who has scored in each of Celtic's three league games this season, says the Hoops are in a rich vein of form heading into the match.

"It gives the confidence a boost, scoring five goals and playing reasonably well. We are optimistic about it," Stokes said. "We want to go on a good run in Europe so nine points out of three games is the best way to be going into the game.

"It's been a good start to the season. For me personally it's been going well, but the most important thing is the team, so I'm delighted all round. 

It gives the confidence a boost, scoring five goals and playing reasonably well.
Anthony Stokes, Celtic forward

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Forward Anthony Stokes has said Celtic are full of confidence heading into Thursday's UEFA Europa League tie with FC Sion after a 5-1 thrashing of Dundee United at Celtic Park on Saturday. Stokes had given the Hoops a fourth-minute lead before Johnny Russell equalised on the half-hour mark.

Gary Hooper restored Celtic's advantage three minutes later before second-half goals from South Korean Ki Sung-Yeung, Joe Ledley and substitute James Forrest helped the Hoops maintain their 100 per cent start to the Scottish Premier League season.

Celtic now face Swiss side FC Sion in Glasgow on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League play-off round tie as they bid to earn a place in the group stages. Irish international Stokes, who has scored in each of Celtic's three league games this season, says the Hoops are in a rich vein of form heading into the match.

"It gives the confidence a boost, scoring five goals and playing reasonably well. We are optimistic about it," Stokes said. "We want to go on a good run in Europe so nine points out of three games is the best way to be going into the game.

"It's been a good start to the season. For me personally it's been going well, but the most important thing is the team, so I'm delighted all round. 

It gives the confidence a boost, scoring five goals and playing reasonably well.
Anthony Stokes, Celtic forward

"Last week at Aberdeen we struggled to break them down but at home against Dundee United we created more chances. Everyone out there took their chances well and it was a great performance all round.

"I think we left ourselves open at times and we took our chances well, but it's not always going to be like that. You saw that last week. But when we get teams at home we want to make it a hard place to come. The way we played against United we created so many chances we were always going to score a few goals."

The win was marred by an ankle injury suffered by Stokes' strike partner Gary Hooper, who was stretchered off in the second-half, but while admitting Hooper's loss would be a blow to the Hoops, Stokes was confident there was enough strength and depth in the squad to cope without him.

"It's disappointing to see him go off like that, but hopefully it's not too bad. They're going to have a look at it this week so hopefully it's just something minor," Stokes said. "We've got Georgios Samaras there with plenty of experience and we have Daryl Murphy.

"We have plenty of cover, but obviously Gary is an outstanding player and he's scored a lot of goals here so if he is a doubt or he does miss it then it will be a big disappointment."