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Page last updated at 23:07 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 00:07 UK

Stokes rates boss Hughes highly

Athnony Stokes
Stokes made his Hibs debut at Falkirk on Saturday

Hibernian's new striker Anthony Stokes reckons his boss John Hughes is as good a coach as Arsene Wenger or Roy Keane.

And former Arsenal and Sunderland player Stokes says he would not be surprised if Hughes were to one day work in the English Premier League.

"He's right up there," Stokes told BBC Scotland. "He'll definitely end up in England, it's only a matter of time.

"If he replicates half of what he did at Falkirk here, I'm sure he'll move on to bigger and better things."

Stokes has cited Hughes as the main reason for his move to Hibs from Sunderland, where he was signed by Keane after leaving Wenger's Arsenal.

The 21-year-old striker has taken a huge drop in salary to leave England's top flight but is delighted to be reunited with Hughes, who had him on loan at Falkirk.

"It's not just his managing style but he lives his life around football," the Republic of Ireland international added.

"When I was up here the last time, I felt so relaxed playing my football and it was just a good atmosphere around the club. I think that's what he brings to any team he manages.

"He likes to play football. Everyday in training, it's all about keeping the ball on the ground, moving it quickly.

"If I can do half of what I did the last time I worked under him, I'll be happy."

Stokes was thrown straight into the starting line-up for Hibs' 3-1 win at Falkirk on Saturday and showed glimpses of the pace and movement that helped him net 16 goals in 18 starts for Hughes' old team.


"I'm not going to set myself any ridiculous targets but I want to try and score as many goals as I possibly can while I'm up here," said Stokes.

"I'm just looking forward to playing week in, week out and helping the team as much as possible."

Stokes had two years of his Sunderland contract to run and several clubs chasing his signature. However, he believes he has joined a team on the up.

"There were a few Championship teams but I'm just happy to be back up here in Scotland," he added.

"I thought it was the right move with the gaffer and after I saw the facilities. I'm just delighted to back.

"I don't see why we can't push into the top four.

"I wouldn't rule anything but as far as I'm concerned, for the next three years, I'm a Hibs player and that's as far as I'm looking at the minute."

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see also
Hibs keen to retain striker Nish
24 Aug 09 |  Hibernian
Falkirk 1-3 Hibernian
22 Aug 09 |  Scottish Premier
Stokes completes Hibernian switch
21 Aug 09 |  Hibernian

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