Football

Stokes happy with Hoops response

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Anthony Stokes believes Celtic purged themselves of their Old Firm disappointment by winning through to the semi-finals of the Co-operative Insurance Cup with a 3-2 win against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night.

The Hoops had come in for some stinging criticism after losing 3-1 at home to Rangers on Sunday, but Neil Lennon's side came out of the traps in Perth flying and a Stokes double and a Niall McGinn strike had them three goals up after only 13 minutes. However, there were some nerves after Sam Parkin reduced the deficit before the break and Murray Davidson headed in the second in the 54th minute.

Stokes said: "We had a chat about Sunday after training and the gaffer said we will draw a line under it and forget about it. It was a massive for the fans and it was a massive game but at the end of the day it's three points and we can't dwell on it. We had to respond and the main thing was to get a win and we went away happy."

He added: "We want to win every competition we play in and so it was a great win.

"On another night we could have won by four or five but they put us under a bit of pressure

"It was a little disappointing the way we let them back in.

"But we did well at the end, they were putting us under pressure and we stayed strong."

Saints boss Derek McInnes hopes his side have learned lessons for when Celtic return on Clydesdale Bank Premier League duty on Saturday.

He said: "To lose three goals so early is totally disheartening and there was a sense of astonishment.

"You have to credit the players for the second half, they kept going and with another five minutes we could have forced extra time. We will lick our wounds and pick ourselves up for Saturday."

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Topics:
Football
Anthony Stokes
Sam Parkin
Southampton
Premier League
Neil Lennon
Queens Park Rangers
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