JOCK STEIN didn’t have to tell a player they were being dropped. We all knew well before the team sheet was pinned on the wall that for whatever reason we would not be busy that weekend.

All of us who played under the manager at Celtic, from the Lions down, got a clear sense that he was leaving you out a day or more before a game. There was never any great surprise when your name wasn’t in the XI once it was named on a Thursday or Friday.

It happened to me quite a lot when I was young and just coming through from the reserves. When I was out, I simply got on with it.

I didn’t chap his door to ask why when this happened to me. I am pretty sure nobody did. Big Jock was in charge and if you weren’t playing then that was that. There was nothing more to be said.

The idea of me going to a journalist to complain about my plight never crossed my mind. If I had, my feet wouldn’t have touched the ground, believe you me.

My view was always that being left out was a sign that I had to do all I could to impress the boss during training and fight my way into the team.

There were some pretty decent footballers around Celtic Park at that time. Everyone had to take their time out of the side.

All players want to play. It’s not about the money, even taking into consideration the fortunes that can be earned today, it’s about pride and professionalism. Sitting in the stand is not what anyone wants.

Which takes me to Anthony Stokes who has a lot of thinking to do after last weekend’s unfortunate events.

I have no idea what Twitter is – it has twit, so must be treated with suspicion – so I didn’t see what Stokes said after being left out of the Inverness Caledonian Thistle game.

But there is a time and place to vent your frustration even it is understandable. It’s certainly not on social media an hour or so before the very game you have been left out of.

Leave it a day or two, let the red mist die down and then go chap on his door so you can have a private chat.

What you don’t do is what Stokes did and I am guessing he has realised that himself.

Before I go on, I’m actually surprised that he has been involved so rarely this season. I believe the Irishman to be a good striker, but Ronny Deila obviously doesn’t fancy him.

Stokes has scored some important goals for Celtic and I do get why he is so frustrated. But it is now hard to see a way back for him. The fact he has been punished with a two-week suspension by the club says a lot about his future, or lack of it, at Celtic Park.

A lot has been made about the fact Kris Commons was more or less let off after throwing a very public tantrum in Molde. Okay, he apologised but then so did Stokes.

But they were dealt with very differently. Is this because Commons remains a vital player for Celtic and Stokes has not kicked a ball since August and therefore is not as important? The answer to that is emphatically yes.

Stokes has been suspended on top of being dropped, despite, just as Commons did, him apologising for his behaviour.

I think it is best for player and club if there is a parting of the ways. I can’t see anything else happening.

Dropping or resting a player, as I had to do many times as a manager, is never easy, but I always felt the best way to do it was to get the player in and explain to his face why he wasn’t playing.

I’m sure I did that almost every time, especially if it was a lad who had been playing regularly, but would drop out because I wanted to change some things around. They were due an explanation and I always looked for a reaction. But not the one Stokes produced.

ONE other player at Celtic who will find himself out of the team soon enough is Kieran Tierney.

The 18-year-old has been absolutely brilliant for Celtic and within a few matches has gone from being not even on the bench to first choice left-back, especially in Europe.

He set-up a goal for Leigh Griffiths at Inverness after a fine run and cross. It’s a side of his game I’ve enjoyed seeing.

But like all young players, he will have to be handled carefully. That means sooner rather than later being taken out of the firing line, so to speak.

When that happens, Tierney I am sure will accept that is part of his football development and work hard in training so he is ready when the manager calls on him again.

That is the only thing to do in such circumstances.

Glasgow Times:

Last year was a lesson: Accies can conquer Parkhead again

A LOT happened after Hamilton Accies beat Celtic at Parkhead last season in what was one of the stand-out results of the entire campaign.

Ronny Deila’s side gave themselves a kick up their collective backside after such a humiliation and went on a long run of wins that led them to the Premiership title.

And on the back of that, Accies enjoyed a spell near the top of the league, and then their manager Alex Neil was soon poached by Norwich City.

He is now in the Premier League and doing well.

I do wonder whether he would have got that job had he not beaten Celtic that day.

The Accies were supposed to go to pot when Neil left, however Martin Canning is proving himself to be a fine replacement and they are doing well.

So I don’t go in for the thinking that Saturday’s match is a forgone conclusion.

Many of the players who won at Celtic Park a year and a bit ago are still at Hamilton, so they are not going to be intimidated by the place or their opponents.

Celtic won at Inverness last time out and extended their lead at the top of the Premiership, but they didn’t play brilliantly.

So this is going to be a test for Ronny Deila and his players.

Hamilton have beaten them once on their own patch and they care capable of doing it again.

Glasgow Times:

It’s nice to be home...for the fifth time

IT IS my honour and pleasure to once more say I’ve joined Celtic.

That’s five times now by my arithmetic. It must be a record.

I have been an academy player back in the day, first-team player, manager and then scout under Tommy Burns. Now I have been appointed to the Celtic Pools board of directors.

There aren’t many boxes I haven’t ticked at the club.

I think my days of being a coach are over, so if I was ever going to get back into football then I always wanted it to be at Celtic in some capacity.

Eric Riley approached me a while back and asked whether I would be interested or not. I said yes right away.

Not just because it was a chance to work at Celtic again, although that was a huge factor, but the money raised goes to the academy.

And that means a lot to me that I will be helping to strengthen the youth policy, as that is where I came through a few years back.

I am excited about the job and being back at the club I love.

I’ve been lucky in my career to play and manage with some great clubs, however, Celtic has always and will always be mine.

I go to as many games as I can as I’m the Celtic columnist for the Evening Times, which is not a bad thing to be.

This club has always been close to my heart as it is to so many people. That’s why it is so special. It means so much. When asked down the years whether I would ever go back into football, my answer was that it would probably have to be something to do with the club. It’s nice to be home.

Your question for Davie Hay

JAMES BRADY from Coatbridge asked Davie: Should Scott Allan start more games?

When he first arrived, I felt there were a lot of players at the club who were very similar to him and therefore it might be difficult for Allan to get games.

But the injury to Scott Brown and loss of form to one or two others means that Allan, for me, is due a run.

He came on at Inverness and his great pass led to Kiernan Tierney setting up a really well-worked goal. It will be interesting to see how he does.

If you have a question for Davie, just email him at and we’ll print the answer alongside the question.