ANTHONY Stokes last night admitted Ronny Deila's departure from Celtic this summer could resurrect his career at Parkhead.

Stokes was loaned out to Ladbrokes Championship club Hibs earlier this season after playing in just a single game for the Scottish champions.

It was widely suggested the Republic of Ireland internationalist had failed to embrace his Norwegian coach's strict diet and fitness regime.

He was also suspended after posting his displeasure about being left out of the match day squad for a game against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Highlands on Twitter in November.

Stokes, who scored the second goal in a 3-2 win over Rangers at Easter Road last night, was surprised when Celtic announced that Deila would be moving on at the end of the 2015/16 campaign.

But the 27-year-old accepted that he may have a better chance of featuring in the first team at Celtic tomorrow under a new manager.

“It was a surprise and it wasn’t," he said. "For the club to come out and say he’s going to finished at the end of the season is a surprise as it’s normally a case of lose the derby and you lose your job.

“Listen, I’m not going to be joyful about anyone losing their job. I want Celtic to do well as they possibly can and that is other people’s decision.

“Of course this decision could change things for me, but things in football can change overnight.

“My mindset has always been on coming here and get myself as fit as possible and try to get games and help Hibs in any way I can.

“I had no other intentions of coming here and then going back to Celtic in the summer, that’s always the way I thought it would be."

Meanwhile, Stokes admitted he was pleased he would be able to play in the Scottish Cup final after Celtic were beaten in the semi-final by Rangers at the weekend.

However, he stressed his focus was on helping Hibs finish second in the Championship and avoid the Premiership play-off quarter-final.

“I was supporting Celtic on Sunday," he said. "I’m a Celtic fan and that’s just the way it is. I have no control about not being able to play in the game whatsoever.

“Now I am able to play in the final and I’m absolutely delighted, but I always want Celtic to do well as I am always going to be a Celtic fan.

“Celtic is none of my business at the moment, I am talking purely as a Celtic fan’s point of view, as a professional I’m only focused on Hibs.

Stokes added: “The cup final needs to be put on the back burner for now as we need to be fully focused on finishing second in the league and that hasn’t changed.

“It was a massive win against a very strong team and we have given ourselves a great chance now.

“It’s possibly a factor that we were playing with a cause, but we don’t know the Rangers mindset going into the game.

“You have to give any side which wins the league the credit as they have deserved it but it’s got nothing to do with us.

“There are vital games coming up and they are all must win games, but I don’t want to jinx things. Getting to two cup finals is great but you want to win them there’s no point is just accepting anything less but it’s on the back burner. The priority is getting Hibs promoted and we are still in there.

“The cup is massive for the Hibs fans but this is a club with a structure which belongs in the top-flight.

“The league slipped away earlier than it should have as we didn’t perform as we should have for a five week spell but promotion has always been the aim and if we can win a cup along the way then all the better."

Stokes admitted his goal against Rangers last night, which keeper Wes Foderingham fumbled into his own net, had been a cross.

He said: “I’m not bothered who scores as the most important thing was winning the game.

“My shot looked as though it was going wide of the post but I couldn’t really see it properly but he’s spilled it and it’s gone in off the post. You will take any kind of goal in a game like that.

“I was just trying to put the ball across to the back post, listen, I’m not Marco Van Basten. There was no way I was trying to shoot from there.

“It was a good time to score and it gave is a platform to win the game.

“It was a resolute performance and that was the main thing - that’s all that matters."