NO LET-UP FROM LEDLEY
Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley has no intention of putting his feet up in the final weeks of the season.
Manager Neil Lennon made seven changes for the visit of St Johnstone in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Thursday night but the Wales midfielder was in his favourite place in the Hoops engine room, helping the champions to a 1-0 win courtesy of an Anthony Stokes goal.
Ahead of Sunday's trip to Dundee United, the penultimate SPL game of the season, Ledley revealed he had passed up on the chance to join other regulars like Scott Brown, Charlie Mulgrew and Georgios Samaras in the stand.
"The gaffer called me in the other day but I said that I wanted to play," the 25-year-old said.
"It's great to have the opportunity to go out there and play football, it's what we get paid to do and that's what we want to do.
"I thought we did well and on another day we might have got more goals. The gaffer changed it a bit to give some of the boys an opportunity to show what they can do.
"He was happy after the game and I think the boys who came in should be happy as well."
While wanting to see the season out to a conclusion, Ledley admits he has one eye on next season's Champions League qualifiers.
Celtic have two qualifiers in the champions route and the former Cardiff player believes this season's Europa League experience, where they finished third in their group behind Atletico Madrid and Udinese, will stand them in good stead.
"That's the main step you want to take as players, playing in the Champions League," said Ledley.
"It is going to be difficult without a doubt but we have more experience from this year. We did well in the Europa League and next season hopefully we can do it (qualify for the Champions League).
"The team has gelled well this season and we just need to take it into next season.
"We are on a great run and everyone is playing brilliantly at the moment.
"So as long as we can continue our form from this season to next season, then hopefully we can qualify."
United go into the game on the back of a 5-0 thrashing at Ibrox in midweek but Ledley is still expecting a tough time on Tayside.
"We have done well against Dundee United this season," he said.
"But they will want to bounce back from their last game and they are going to make it difficult for us. But as long as we keep playing the way we are, then hopefully we will get the three points."
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