Anthony Stokes has expressed disappointment after former Hibs team-mate Kevin Thomson criticised his attitude and branded him “a poor trainer” in a recent newspaper column.
The pair played together in the second half of the 2015/16 season under Alan Stubbs as the Hibees missed out on promotion and then won the Scottish Cup.
Thomson, writing in The Scotsman, last month outlined his belief that Stokes had the raw ability to play in the English Premier League but added “attitude-wise, in terms of how hard he works on and off the field, he is probably as poor as I have worked with”.
Stokes said: “Listen, he’s entitled to his own opinion but Kev didn’t really play too much when he was here (in that season), and yet he’s talking about how I train. It’s about what you do on a Saturday, not what you do throughout the week.
“There are great trainers out there who could play for Barcelona Monday to Friday, but it’s about going out on the pitch and performing on a Saturday. I feel like, especially in my time in Scotland, my stats speak for themselves.
“I’ve scored goals and put in performances, and I think that says more than what he says in his paper to make a headline. Other people’s opinions don’t really bother me but I don’t think ex-players you’ve played with . . . put it this way, it wouldn’t be me saying stuff like that.”
Stokes insists he won’t let any outside criticism affect his focus. “I think every player every week has a point to prove,” he said. “But in terms of me coming here, the only person putting pressure on me is myself. I want to perform and I want to score goals and help the team, that’s my focus. I don’t really worry about what other people think about me. It comes down to what I do on the pitch. I’ve had a reasonably good start and I want to build on that.”