RONNY DEILA has urged out-of-favour Anthony Stokes to follow Leigh Griffiths’ example if he wants to save his Celtic career.

The Republic of Ireland internationalist has played just two games for the Hoops this season with the last outing coming back in August against Dundee United.

Stokes’ stock at Parkhead has fallen to such a degree that he has not even made it on to the club’s bench at times, including for Sunday’s win at New Douglas Park.

Last year striker Griffiths was out in the cold but managed to work his way back into the fold to become a regular in green and white.

And Deila is looking for Stokes to follow in his footsteps, improve his discipline and prove he is worthy of a place in his Celtic masterplan.

“There are some of the same issues as Leigh, yes,” said the Celtic manager.

“It’s about discipline and consistency in what he is doing. It’s never an issue of skill with Stokesy, it’s about getting the best out of himself.

“Then we need discipline with him over time.

“It’s not an attitude problem, it’s a discipline thing he has to do over time.

“We need to see some improvement.”

Deila added: “It is tough competition but he is still at the club. He is an alternative on the wings and as a striker.

“He trains but he has to show he is better than the others.”

Meanwhile, former Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk has caused upset by claiming he has learned more in five games for Southampton than he did during his entire spell at Parkhead.

The Dutch defender moved to St Mary’s for £11.5million in the summer and has had a pop at the standard of the Scottish top flight he played in for two seasons.

Speaking to NU Sport while on international duty with The Netherlands, he said: "I've been in five games at Southampton learned much more than in previous years, so I'm definitely going forward as a football player.

"However, the adjustment was tough. The game is much faster in England than in Scotland. The civil midfield is sometimes like a pinball, I had to get used to."

It was also announced yesterday that the kick-off times for both of Celtic’s Premiership away trips to the Highlands next month have been confirmed.

Following the home Europa League game against Molde, the game against Ross County on Sunday, November 8 will kick-off at 3.30pm.

Celtic’s subsequent European match against Ajax at Celtic Park precedes a Sunday trip to Inverness on November 29 and that game will kick-off at 12.15pm.