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Striker Wants His Place Back

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Anthony Stokes, who started the season well having joined Blackburn from Celtic in the summer, is working his way back to full fitness after injury with him targeting Ipswich for his first-team return.

Loan signing from Southampton Sam Gallagher had taken his place in the side with another loan arrival from Swansea, Marvin Emnes, also impressing he’s not only got these two to compete with he’s got Danny Graham too.

Now back in full training an outing for the U23 side in the EFL Trophy defeat at Carlisle gave Stokes a match to improve his match sharpness with him telling the Lancashire Telegraph he was happy with his performance and to get the full 90.

‘I was happy enough with my performance but I think I can definitely improve the fitness and the sharpness. But considering I`ve been out for the last three or four weeks I don`t think it was too bad. When you`re out you can train all you want but you get real sharpness and fitness from playing 90 minutes.’

Training is all good and well but he knows actual football is what you need, adding he’s happy for this to be in the U23 side or the reserves as long as he can play with him now using the international break to ‘work hard this week’ and improve his ‘fitness again’ after his knee injury.

Stokes’ aim is to then be back in the team that faces Ipswich a week Saturday, but the Republic of Ireland international knows that isn’t going to be easy with the competition he faces.

‘I want to be back in the team for the next game – but it`s not as easy as that! The boys have been doing well since I`ve been out. It seems the last three weeks the boys up front have been scoring left, right and centre.’

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