Ki eyes wins at home for Europa glory

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Ki SUNG-YUENG believes Celtic will have to rely on their home games if they are to progress out of their difficult Europa League group.

The Hoops warmed up for the visit of Udinese on Thursday with a 2-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over Inverness at Parkhead on Saturday.

After losing their opening Group I fixture to Atletico Madrid 2-0 in Spain earlier in the month, Ki is looking for Celtic Park to inspire the players in the games against the Spanish club and Rennes, following this week’s visit of the Italian outfit.

“We have just played one game and if we win against Udinese we still have a chance,” said the 22-year-old South Korea international. “We will have to be at our best and if we get a chance we will have to score.

“Away games in the Europa League or Champions League are not easy so we should at least draw away games and win every home game, that is our target. But as I said, it’s not going to be an easy game because they are a good team.

Manager Neil Lennon admitted better teams than Caley would have punished some of the sloppy defensive play which perforated Celtic’s win over the SPL’s bottom side.

Midfielders Joe Ledley and James Forrest took the pressure off with their first-half strikes to keep the Parkhead men four points behind SPL leaders Rangers and Ki admits everyone in the Hoops engine room needs to chip in with goals.

“We can’t rely on the strikers every time,” said Ki, who has notched three this season.

“We have good midfielders in the team who can score goals and I think we should score more. Me, Beram Kayal, Joe and Scott Brown can score more goals and help the strikers to score.

“James has scored four goals and I think he is one of the top young players in Scotland.”

Lennon praised his two scorers, both of whom have found themselves on the bench in recent weeks.

“Ledley is playing very well and I thought Forrest was excellent,” said the former Hoops skipper.

“Without being brilliant it was a very good result and I am pleased with the clean sheet as well.”