Joe Ledley: No Hampden hangover for Celtic

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JOE LEDLEY believes Celtic will prove they have shrugged off their Hampden hangover when they return to the national stadium for the second time in a month for tomorrow’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts.

Neil Lennon’s men were stunned to lose 1-0 to Kilmarnock in the Scottish Communities League Cup final at Hampden on March 18. However, after clinching the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title with a 6-0 win at Rugby Park last week, the Hoops midfielder claims there will be no shortage of confidence when the Celtic team bus makes its way to the south side of Glasgow.

“We were obviously disappointed that we lost the final against Kilmarnock,” he said. “We played good football and had good chances and maybe on a different day we would have won, but that’s football.

“We have proved we are over that by winning the league and winning matches so we will go there full of confidence and hopefully get the win.

“I don’t know if Hearts are going to come out and go for it. I thought Kilmarnock sat back (in the final) and let us dominate. But we put in a good performance against Kilmarnock on Saturday and we just need to continue that form.

“We had the chance to win the treble but we didn’t.

“Now it would be nice to win the double. We didn’t do it last year so hopefully we do it this year.”

Having secured the SPL title, Ledley is looking ahead to the Champions League qualifiers at the start of next season and believes this season’s experience in the Europa League will stand the Parkhead side in good stead.

“It is massive,” he said.

“Obviously me and some of the other boys haven’t played in the Champions League and we want to achieve that, hopefully next season.

“The Europa League was a massive confidence boost for us, we gained a lot of experience on the way because we played some great teams, like Atletico Madrid.”