Ledley: We are team to fear

JOE Ledley believes Celtic are the club others will want to avoid in tomorrow's Champions League play-off round draw.

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Celtic know the five opponents they could face in the final hurdle between them and their first group campaign for four years, including Henrik Larsson's former team Helsingborgs (Sweden), Maribor (Slovenia), Hapoel Kiryat Shmona (Israel), Limassol (Cyprus) and FC Cluj (Romania).

But Ledley, whose opener sent the Hoops on the way to only their second Euro away win in 34 games last night before Georgios Samaras sealed victory, said others would be deeply wary of Celtic after their 2-0 win and 4-1 aggregate triumph over HJK Helsinki.

"If the other teams saw the way we played then they should want to avoid us," said Ledley, after Neil Lennon's men guaranteed a Europa League group campaign at the very least, and still the chance of making it to the Champions League proper.

"We're a fantastic team, the way we play football. We get it down and pass it. Obviously in Helsinki the conditions were different and we had to go long ball.

"But I think teams should fear us because we're a young team, hungry, and we have good players who can kill teams off."

The Welsh midfielder went on: "The Champions League is the best club competition you can play in. You can't ask any more than that but at least if that doesn't happen we have the Europa League group stage at the very least.

"We had a good run last season and we're just happy to have European football again this season.

"It was a massive result. It guarantees us eight more games in Europe this season. We hadn't won away from home for a while now and I think we deserved that victory, everyone worked their socks off for it.

"We're a young bunch of boys, we're hungry, we want to play in the Champions League, we just have to go out against whoever we draw and give it 100%.

"Considering it's a young bunch of lads I thought we were fantastic, the shape of the team was brilliant all over the pitch from defence to up front.

"I don't think anyone could ask for anything more. It was a fantastic performance away from home."

Reaching the Champions League group stage would generate around £15million but Ledley feels the team could compete even if Lennon wasn't given any of that to spend on new signings.

"That's obviously down to the gaffer," he said.

"I think we're happy, it's a fantastic team. It would be nice to have one or two and hopefully keep the same team."


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