The reaction which shows Celtic star's quality as he sends 'better' message to rivals
Jota had possession deep in his own half as Celtic led 1-0. The Portuguese winger attempted a 30-yard pass forward to Kyogo Furuhashi who was closely marshalled by Dons defender Ross McCrorie. The ball was turned back over to the visitors as they exerted pressure towards the end of the half.
It didn’t take a body language expert to know his manager Postecoglou wasn’t pleased with the situation.
The Australian addressed the situation at half-time and, come the full-time whistle, spoke of Jota’s wastefulness. But also his positive reaction.
“The good thing is he addressed it at half-time and in the second half, not just his goal but his general play was really good,” Postecoglou said. “He was dangerous, threatening and doing the team stuff as well.”
It is, however, the goal the majority of the 55,000-strong crowd at ‘Flag Day’ will remember.
"It was definitely a good moment for me, in my career,” Jota said. “I was very happy I scored.
"I think the most important thing is that we started on the right foot this season and in the Scottish league. Now we just need to keep on working and be better every game.”
Was it his best ever goal?
“Oh, I can't remember,” he said. “This is one was probably one of the best.”
‘Better every day’
A few eyebrows may have been raised regarding comments from Postecoglou on Jota but something else stood out. "He is determined to be the best footballer he can be," the Celtic boss said.
That was hammered home by the player himself, not just with his mentality in the second half, the stunning goal but his attitude afterwards.
“Imagine a person having a normal job and not wanting to be better every day," he said. “I cannot even find the funny in that.
"Everyone in this place right now wants to be better. I want to be a better person and footballer. Every time I go on the pitch I just try to do better. We work during the week for that.”
That in itself should be a concern for the rest of the league.
“Last season is done," he said. “We’re not in last season. We start from zero now. Everyone started on the same points. We are not focused on last season.
"We want to make a message to the league that we want to be strong every game and this team is hungry for more and more.”
The 23-year-old returned to the club this season in a £6.4million deal. It’s not a stretch to suggest he could be a key player within the Scottish Premiership and the destination of the title.
It was a return which always seemed on the cards, even if it took slightly longer than Celtic fans would have liked, just to put them at ease.
“I think it was everything,” Jota. “Not just that moment, just being part of this football club and the philosophy that runs through nowadays in the club.
"I’m just grateful for everything. It’s just good to be back. It's good to do the things I love the most, playing football.”
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