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Lennon hails Stokes after 'terrific' third Hibs debut

The Irish striker scored twice and was man of the match against Ayr United.

Sharp: Stokes scored twice against Ayr.
Sharp: Stokes scored twice against Ayr. SNS Group

Hibs manager Neil Lennon singled out Anthony Stokes for praise after the striker netted a double in his side's 5-0 League Cup win over Ayr United.

The Irish forward was making the first appearance of his third stint at Easter Road and he was the standout performer as Hibs booked their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Lennon said he was particularly pleased to see his high-profile signing hit the ground running despite a lack of match action over the summer.

"Stokes showed some great touches considering that was his first run out in a long time," he said. 

"To get two goals and assist was terrific. There was real quality to his touches and play in general.

"It was great that he got 90 minutes and got his goals - that is what he is here for. We're playing him in his right position and we think he'll score goals."

Next up for Lennon and his players is a trip to Ibrox to play Rangers and having seen Stokes, Simon Murray, Efe Ambrose and Deivydas Matulevicius all find the net against Ayr, the manager admitted he had real competition for places.

"There are some tough calls for Saturday now, but that is what you want," he said. 

"I don't have a clear idea who I'm going to play against Rangers on Saturday."

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