St Ledger: I need more football

Defender worried by lack of first-team action at club

Aidan Fitzmaurice

SEAN ST LEDGER admits that he needs regular first-team football to keep hold of his place in the Ireland team.

The 27-year-old is almost certain to start in central defence for all of Ireland's games at the Euro 2012 finals as he has missed only a handful of matches since Giovanni Trapattoni handed him his debut in 2009.

But he has struggled to get games with Leicester City in recent months, and he admits that it's a concern.

"Next season I want to start more games," said St Ledger.

"I want to play here at Leicester and I want to start. My aim is to play every game and I haven't done that this season.

"I am 28 next season and I want to play first-team football. If I can't do it, then it is difficult because of my age and my international career.

"Leicester is a big club and when I come back for pre-season, after the Euros, hopefully, I will be fit and challenging for a starting place.

"I want to play so I will come back in pre-season and work hard to get in the starting 11.

"This club still has a great chance of getting into the Premier League under the manager we have."

It's been a tough season for Leicester, who failed to make the promotion play-offs despite spending massively on their playing budget.

"It has been eventful this year. Even though there have been times when I wasn't playing, I have enjoyed myself," said St Ledger.

"But you don't get the same excitement or buzz when you turn up and you aren't playing. That is what we all want, to be playing come Saturdays..

"We all know there are going to be changes in the close-season," he added.

"What those changes are, we don't know.

"There will be comings and goings, that is just part-and-parcel of football.

"The manager has said he is going to put his own identity on the squad and I think people can then judge him as a whole next season."

Meanwhile his Ireland team-mate Kevin Doyle has called on Wolves to finish off the season on a high despite relegation from the Premier League.

"We're trying to finish the season with a little bit of something that can be taken into next year," said Doyle.

"There isn't so much pressure on us now, but we want to finish the season well.

"We want to get a good result and the fans probably deserve it even more so. We're playing for pride and need to put in one last home performance.

"Our away form hasn't been too bad but our home form has been what's got us relegated really.

"Everyone was angry and frustrated six weeks ago but for a few games the fans have been nothing but supportive."