Ledley urges Celtic to bounce back to lift title
Wednesday 28 March 2012
Joe Ledley insists Celtic cannot dwell on their Old Firm derby disappointment as they prepare for what could be another opportunity to clinch the Premier League title.
Victory over Rangers would have allowed the Hoops to claim the SPL crown at Ibrox on Sunday but a 3-2 defeat denied them a title party on their greatest rivals' turf.
Depending on the outcome of Rangers' game at Motherwell on Saturday, Celtic could be in the position once again to confirm themselves as champions when they host St Johnstone the following day.
But, having suffered back-to-back defeats in major matches after also losing the Scottish Communities League Cup final to Kilmarnock, Ledley believes Neil Lennon's men must restore their focus.
He said: "We're going to have another opportunity to prove ourselves and hopefully get a win. We just need to concentrate on the three points. We weren't happy with how things went on Sunday, but we need to pick ourselves up and go again.
The Welsh midfielder added: "They were fantastic. They are the best support in Scotland without a doubt and were fantastic on Sunday. They sang all the way through and they are the best supporters in the world. They just proved it again at Ibrox.
"They give us all a massive boost and a buzz when you go into the games and you just want to try to work as hard as you can for them and try to get the win for them, as they had obviously spent a lot of money for tickets."
Saints defeated Celtic at Parkhead at the start of the season and will also be aiming for a win as they bid to take a step closer to securing European football next season.
Ledley said: "They have been one of the better teams this season and are going to make it difficult for us. We're going to have to be on the top of our game to try and break them down."
Meanwhile, Andy Little paid tribute to his Rangers team-mates for brushing aside the club's troubles to claim an impressive win over rivals Celtic.
Rangers were plunged into administration last month, with the playing staff subsequently agreeing to wage cuts of up to 75 per cent in a bid to avoid widespread redundancies.
Little said: "Every single player just showed they didn't want to be beaten. That really came through and we had a lot of pride. We used all the bad stuff which has happened to us to our advantage and it was absolutely superb. The attitude from every single one of our players was unreal."
Goals from Sone Aluko, Little and Lee Wallace saw Rangers race into a commanding lead, as Cha Du-Ri and Victor Wanyama both saw red for the Hoops. Carlos Bocanegra was then ordered off as the home side's numbers were also depleted late on and Scott Brown converted from the resultant penalty, before Thomas Rogne pulled another goal back deep into injury time.
Little added: "We had a silly last five minutes but up until then we were unbelievable and the boys who started deserve a lot of credit. We played to our strengths. Our back three were superb and we ran the midfield as well."
Little – whose Ibrox career has been blighted by injury - netted the second goal with his first touch of the ball just seconds after coming off the bench.
He said: "It's still sinking in. When I was sitting on the bench, I was thinking about how good it would be to score and I was planning my celebration but I think I just went mad when the ball went in.
"I'm loving every minute at the moment and it hasn't just been in the last four or five games. I've been feeling really good for a few months and I've been scoring in reserve games. It is a confidence thing I suppose. I've focused on playing up front again and scoring goals is what I want to do."
Latest in Sport
Juventus vs Real Madrid - Champions League LIVE! Latest score and updates from semi-final first leg
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 player ratings: Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata on target - but who scored highest?
Juventus vs Real Madrid match report: Carlos Tevez gives Juve the edge after goals from Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo
Gareth Bale performance slammed by Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Lee Dixon: 'His team-mates can't be happy'
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
- 1 Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
- 3 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 4 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
- 5 Chinese theme park sets up 'death simulator' where volunteers can experience being cremated
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils