The former Scotland under-21 international admits he was left bamboozled by the deliveries of the Hoops winger which continued Hibs' miserable run in the Scottish CupHibernian defender Paul Hanlon claimed the crossing of Celtic attacker Anthony Stokes was the key to the Hoops claiming the Scottish Cup.
The SPL champions made it a double this season, with two first-half efforts from Gary Hooper and a late strike from Joe Ledley securing a comfortable 3-0 victory and sent the trophy to the East End of Glasgow.
On the two goals in the first 45 minutes, Hanlon claimed it wasn’t all down to Hooper, but rather his Irish teammate Stokes who set-up both efforts, telling reporters: “He’s got great quality, but it’s more about the delivery, that was pure quality and he’s just there to finish it.
“I just saw the ball coming across and it went over my head, I’ve turned round and Hooper’s got a foot on it.
“It was a great cross as well, sometimes there’s bits of good play and that took us all out of the game, right in-between me, Ben Williams and Ryan McGivern, we just have to try and learn from it and move on.”
Hanlon went on to claim that if Eoin Doyle’s early header had gone in then it would have given the Easter Road side a foothold in the game which they could have hung on to.
“Against Celtic that’s what you try and do, you can look at it two ways, you can try and hold on to half-time and try and go from there, or you can try and get the early goal,” he added.
“It was a good chance for us, but he was unable to guide it enough into the corner, if that goes in then you have something to hold onto.”
Finally, Hanlon conceded that the defeat, which sees the club’s hoodoo with the Scottish Cup continue into a 112th year, was just as bad as their thumping 5-1 defeat to Edinburgh rivals Hearts last season.
“It’s different, but it’s just as disappointing, it’s a cup final and you’re desperate to win it,” he admitted.