Striker Anthony Stokes insists the Celtic squad is strong enough to withstand the loss of last season's player of the year, Emilio Izaguirre, who is facing between four and six months on the sidelines.

The Honduran left-back suffered a broken right ankle during the 1-0 SPL win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon confirmed he was contemplating buying another left-back, but Charlie Mulgrew stepped in well against his former club and Mark Wilson, who is expected to return from a groin injury against Dundee United on Saturday, can also play there.

With Cha Du-Ri and Adam Matthews, who started against the Dons, competing for the right-back spot, Stokes is sure Celtic will adapt.

"Emilio's a top player. I think he cleaned up with every award last year and that says enough about his ability," said the Irishman, who hit the game's only goal in 74 minutes.

"We're going to miss him, but the good thing is we have a big squad with plenty of other players who are ready to step in and take his place."

Lennon immediately feared the worst when Izaguirre failed to get up following a clean sliding challenge from Peter Pawlett early in the game.

But Stokes said: "I don't think most of the lads realised it was that bad until after the game.

"It's terrible, but it's just one of these things that can happen in football. I thought early on there were two or three hard tackles going in. It's always likely to happen, especially on a greasy surface like that."

Stokes ended Celtic's frustration when he exchanged passes with Kris Commons and swept home from 10 yards after the winger had fairly won the ball from a hesitant Richard Foster.

Celtic struggled to expose the Dons defence, though Lennon claimed they had over-elaborated in the final third.

Stokes said: "We didn't create too many clear-cut chances, but I was just glad I got on the end of the pass from Kris.

"It was a great cutback and an easy enough finish for me in the end.

"I think Aberdeen played well. We had to play around them because there wasn't much space. There were a lot of long-range efforts as well. It was frustrating because they kept it tight."

Craig's moan goal

Craig Brown today admitted Aberdeen must end their goal drought fast to avoid an early-season crisis.

Aberdeen have yet to score in three games and the Pittodrie gaffer urged his players to kick-start their season against Hearts on Saturday following yesterday's 1-0 home defeat by Celtic.

Brown said: "Our season will need to start quickly. The fans have applauded us for our effort, but we want them applauding us off for a victory."

Brown claimed goalkeeper David Gonzalez had not had a save to make in three games, but he wants more in the final third. He added: "There is a good attitude and, long-term, we will be successful, I'm sure."