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Page last updated at 17:33 GMT, Sunday, 29 August 2010 18:33 UK

Anthony Stokes exit not inevitable, says John Hughes

Anthony Stokes (left) in action against St Mirren
Stokes (left) was a frustrated figure at St Mirren Park on Sunday

Hibernian manager John Hughes has stressed that there is nothing inevitable about the transfer of striker Anthony Stokes to Celtic.

It is believed that the deal is stalling, with the two clubs a distance apart in their valuation of the 22-year-old Republic of Ireland forward.

"Everybody thinks it is a done-deal for some reason," said Hughes.

"I think the two clubs are talking and if the two clubs are talking then Hibs are in good hands."

Hughes, speaking after Sunday's disappointing 1-0 defeat away to St Mirren, was hopeful that chief executive Rod Petrie would also help him add to the squad.

"If Stokesy's here when the window shuts, I'll be a happy guy, but only if there's another couple of players added to the club and we're trying to do that," Hughes told BBC Scotland.

He is an option for us, allied with another couple of targets we have

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

"I think we need a couple of fresh faces in there just to help the guys along."

Hughes was disappointed with the manner of the defeat in Paisley.

"I don't think we did enough to go and win the football match," he said.

"I felt three or four players were off of form and it is not like us.

"I asked them how they thought they performed and three or four said they did not perform well and, if three or four don't perform, we are playing with seven players and that is not good enough.

"One thing I will say about St Mirren is that they outworked us, they were resolute and they got their win - and maybe they deserved it."

Hughes admitted that he was particularly disappointed by the display of Stokes, who has played under Hughes at Falkirk and Easter Road.

"I felt that even, if this was going to be his last game and with the relationship that we have got, he would probably go out with a bang and it never materialised and that is very, very disappointing," he said.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon thinks that Stokes is the kind of player who could enhance his own squad, especially so after an injury picked up by summer signing Gary Hooper.

"He is an option for us, allied with another couple of targets we have," he said of the player who joined Hibs from Sunderland last year.

"We're hoping to bring a couple more players in.

"With Hooper being injured, we need a wee box player or a goalscorer and Anthony certainly falls into that category.

"But whether we can get over the line with him or not, I don't know. I will probably know more tomorrow."

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see also
St Mirren 1-0 Hibernian
29 Aug 10 |  Scottish Premier
Motherwell 0-1 Celtic
29 Aug 10 |  Scottish Premier
Stokes completes switch to Celtic
31 Aug 10 |  Celtic

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