Honest Joe admits to poor display

If there was any honesty missing from the Celtic performance as they crashed out of the Scottish Communities League Cup, then it wasn't reflected in Joe Ledley's post-match summation.

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Ledley says Celtic must rebuild
Ledley says Celtic must rebuild

Neil Lennon, too, pulled no punches as he slaughtered his players for more the manner in which they lost the game to St Mirren, after they were second best all over the park on an afternoon when they dreams of a domestic treble died.

From the first whistle to the last, his players lost their own individual battles and never came remotely close to resembling the side that has salvaged Scottish football's battered reputation this season by securing a last 16 place in the Champions League.

As Lennon watched the nightmare unfold in front of his own eyes, he paced continuously from his seat in the dug-out area to the technical area to try and muster a response from his players it was evident the message simply wasn't getting through to his players.

Not for the first time, they'd let themselves and their manager – and more importantly their supporters – down at the National Stadium.

But it was the lack of fight and hunger which made yesterday's defeat far more difficult to take.

Ledley, to be fair to him, was by no means the worst. Yes, the Welshman has had far better games for the Parkhead club and he struggled to make an impact on the game but at least he was brave enough to at least try and offer some sort of explanation – something the rest of his team failed to.

"We just didn't get going the entire match," said Ledley. "In the second half we had some chances and got ourselves back into it but we are very disappointed with the way we defended and attacked as a unit. It was unacceptable."

"We had some opportunities in the first half after their goal. We left it a bit late before we managed to get into it but Charlie Mulgrew missing the penalty and then they got the penalty and that flattened us but we should have reacted better.

"We hit the bar and on another day some of those chances would have gone in. I thought we deserved our equaliser and on another day maybe we would have got more."

Ledley also made it clear he and his team-mates didn't turn up at Hampden expecting to ease past St Mirren after previous convincing wins over the Paisley club.

He said: "I also don't think we underestimated St Mirren. We knew they could play football and hurt us. We have done well against them in the past and we should have done better. We know they are a good team and they showed that against us. I don't know if it was complacency. I am not too sure what it was.

"We will watch the game back and I am sure it will be individual mistakes we will look to rectify."

Lennon got stuck into his players after the game and Ledley added: "We expected that and we knew within ourselves he would be disappointed.

"We need to do better as a team. The treble was something we wanted to achieve and we can't do that now.

"We now need to rebuild and we are lucky we have got a game on Wednesday and hopefully we can now go out there and perform better."

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