Anthony Stokes rates Hibs boss Alan Stubbs highly

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Hibernian forward Anthony Stokes
Anthony Stokes returned to Hibs on loan in January
Scottish League Cup final: Hibernian v Ross County
Date: Sunday, 13 March Venue: Hampden Park Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC Two Scotland; listen on Radio Scotland; TV, radio & text coverage on BBC Sport website

Hibernian striker Anthony Stokes believes Easter Road boss Alan Stubbs has all the attributes to become a top manager.

Stokes, on loan at Hibs from Celtic, refused to say whether he thought Stubbs would one day be Celtic boss.

But the Irishman feels Stubbs would cope admirably with everything that comes with being an Old Firm manager.

"From the managers I have seen there he would have no issue in coping with the Celtic job," said Stokes.

"That is not me trying to put anything out there. You look at him and he is obviously not in the manager's job that long but he is like a manager that has been around for 10 or 15 years in how he handles the boys.

"He has played the game himself and he understands how players react and how they handle themselves and adapt to situations."

Alan Stubbs and Anthony Stokes
Former Celtic defender Stubbs (left) has been Hibs boss since 2014

Stokes says it has taken him some time to recapture the sharpness he was looking for when he joined the club in January.

He insists this is down to his lack of game time, having not featured for Celtic since a 3-1 win against Dundee United back in August.

"It's just down to fitness and match sharpness," explained the Republic of Ireland cap.

"It doesn't come back in three or four games. It can take seven, eight or nine games. But I felt at the weekend a lot better and even in the previous game against Queen of the South I felt sharper."

'Crucial and hectic' period of games

Stokes is hoping to play a part in winning the League Cup for Hibernian on Sunday when they face Ross County at Hampden. He says the squad assembled by Stubbs is more than capable of returning to Easter Road with the silverware.

"There is a good mixture of youth and experience and I think with the gaffer leading the march it's all coming together and it could be a very exciting finish to the season," said Stokes.

With Hibernian also pushing for promotion from the Championship and still in the Scottish Cup, Stokes says lots of games on the horizon are what he needs for his own personal ambitions.

"It will be crucial and hectic but I would rather play three games a week than train," he added.

"I think me personally as a footballer, big schedules are good. It's exactly what I need at the minute."