Ledley: Karagandy tie massive

Joe Ledley says Celtic cannot afford to bow out of the Champions League to Shakhter Karagandy on Wednesday.

Last Updated: 28/08/13 at 19:00 Post Comment

Joe Ledley: 'The fans' role is massive'

Joe Ledley: 'The fans' role is massive'

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Hoops have to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit at Celtic Park or fail to reach the group stages which would be worth around £7.5m to the club.

He said: "This is one of the biggest games of my life - so much is at stake.

"So much depends on this game and there is so much pressure on myself and my team-mates. Hopefully we can thrive on it and go from there.

"We want to play in the Champions League, it's a fantastic competition. Last season was one of the best in our careers and hopefully we can qualify again."

The defeat in Kazakhstan came as a shock, Andrei Finonchenko and Sergey Khizhnichenko scoring the goals for Karagandy.

Ledley said: "We were surprised by them? Not really. We did our homework and knew they were going to be well organised and dangerous on set-plays. That's where the first goal came from, a long throw.

"They are a big team and dangerous from set-plays. But we can't let that get inside our head. We just have to play the way we would normally.

"They didn't really surprise us as we knew they were going to be a good team and they proved that.

"We dominated possession in the first game and they sat in. I'd be surprised if they came out and attacked in the second leg but whatever formation they play we need to be able to break them down.

"Everyone would want an early goal but we scored two against Inverness at the weekend pretty late, and as long as we get two or three, and do not concede, I will be happy."

Ledley says the home fans will create an intimidating atmosphere. And the pageantry that has come to be known as the hallmark of such occasions at Celtic Park was last week safeguarded when the club reversed plans to break up the controversial Green Brigade group after receiving assurances they would improve their behaviour.

"The fans' role is massive," he said. "They have been brilliant ever since I've been here and I'm sure the fans will be exactly the same against Karagandy.

"The Old Firm is a fantastic atmosphere but when it's the Champions League, I don't think anything can beat it. The day we played Barcelona was one of the greatest moments of my life and the atmosphere was fantastic that night.

"I think the Green Brigade are fantastic. They bring the atmosphere to Celtic Park and without them, it wouldn't be so good.

"My family come up and all they talk about is the Green Brigade. They set the atmosphere alight."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

G

ive him 10 crosses and he'll head 8 of them over the bar.

tk421
Where Does Giroud Rank In Premier League?

Footer 365

Chelsea defender John Terry signs new one-year contract

Chelsea defender John Terry has signed a new one-year contract to stay at the club until summer 2016.

Roy Hodgson confirms Harry Kane will make England debut

Harry Kane's "incredible season" will reach a new high with an England debut in the next week, Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Roy Hodgson urges English goalkeepers to grab chance to shine

England boss Roy Hodgson has urged goalkeepers across the land to grab their chance to shine to fill his injury gaps.

Mail Box

Cry Me A River, Diego Costa...

There's little sympathy for Diego Costa, while one mailboxer has had enough of football by numbers. There's also an invitation to visit Colombia and an ode to Woan...

England Handicapped By Natural Pessimism

The England team will never achieve anything unless we all lighten up. Also, last season was simply Joe Hart's 'Frog Chorus', and 80 per cent was a conservative estimate of turds in the Liverpool punchbowl...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company