What is the point of putting yourself under pressure?
20 April 2011 10:37
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Why miss the chance of three points by playing a weakened side no matter who you play at the weekend? Joe Ledley is definitely out of tonight's game with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park thanks to a hamstring injury. The Hoops midfielder suffered the injury in the Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen at Hampden Park on Sunday and is also unlikely to be ready in time for the for the Old Firm game at Ibrox this Sunday. Defender Glenn Loovens is also doubtful with a hamstring strain while Cha Du-ri is still sidelined with an ankle injury. Manager Neil Lennon dismissed the idea he would pick a side to play at Rugby Park with one eye on Sunday's Old Firm game. He said: "There is no point in doing that. If we drop points then it puts massive pressure on us for Sunday. So I am not thinking that way. I am thinking about putting out the best team that I possibly can to beat Kilmarnock. With the way Kilmarnock play, the game might be open and I think both teams will have a go at each other which will hopefully help us. But we have to go to Hearts, Kilmarnock, Rangers and Inverness and we have Dundee United and Motherwell at home. Every game throws up all sorts of dangers for us but we will take each game on its merits. We have to win them and put as much pressure on our rivals as we can.'' Kilmarnock caretaker manager Kenny Sheils will have Manuel Pascali back from suspension for the game but Mehdi Taouil (hamstring), Frazer Wright (shoulder) and Mohamadou Sissoko (groin) are still out of contention while Scott Evans is sidelined with a groin problem. James Dayton is pushing for a place, even on the bench, following his recovery from cruciate ligament damage. Half of Kilmarnock's final six games come against the Old Firm, starting with the visit of Celtic. Goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola said: "You always try to play as well as possible and we have some good games ahead against Celtic and Rangers. Those games will be tough games and a good challenge for me and for the whole team.''