Joao Jota says Celtic must continue to believe in Angel Postecoglou’s attacking philosophy
CELTIC went from two goals to good in Sevilla to two behind, as Real Betis exposed defensive weaknesses which are all too evident in these early days of Angel Postecoglou’s reign.
The exciting and temperamental football that got them into that winning position ultimately played a role in Celtic relinquishing that advantage, but Ange Postecoglou’s faith in his style of play remained steadfast after the game.
He was not alone. Joao Jota, who has been impressive all night on the right wing, is already a follower of Postecoglou’s offensive principles. That unwavering confidence the team has in what their manager is trying to do has almost brought them back from the dead against Betis, and it’s what Jota thinks that will ultimately make this team a success in the future.
“If we don’t believe in ourselves, no one else will believe it,” Jota said. “I think we have to stick to our process and do our thing, believe in the ideas of our coach and our club and stay true to ourselves.
“Unfortunately, we did not get the result we wanted [against Real Betis], but I think the attitude is there. We just have to keep doing our things, stay on track and believe in the process.
“I think the next games will be better. This is not the outcome we wanted but let’s look at others.
Inevitably, questions arise over Celtic’s backline in the wake of Manuel Pellegrini’s four goals conceded in star-studded outfit, but Jota is adamant that the whole team must take responsibility for all aspects of their performance. Game.
“We are working on all fronts,” he said. “Defensively, offensively… we have to be strong in all areas. It’s not just defensive.
“We do the job every day and every game so I just think we need more games, more time and things will be smooth for sure.”
Given the circumstances of the loss to Betis, with Postecoglou’s side missing a host of first-team regulars including captain Callum McGregor and emerging with a more than commendable performance, the reaction has been as positive as a defeat for Celtic could be.
For Jota, the disappointment of coming back from Sevilla without any points in his first Europa League group game was also tempered by the belief that he and his teammates took from the almighty fear they gave to the La Liga team on their own ground.
“I think it shows that we have personality because Betis are a great team and we came face to face with them,” he said. “It was a good time for us.
“I think we have to face every game like this and score more goals and I think we’ll learn from that.”
Celtic fans certainly warm up to Jota the more they learn about his abilities.
A decent start last week against Ross County was followed by this eye-catching display in Spain, where his direct run and cunning with the ball caused huge problems for the Betis defense.
The only black mark against his performance was when he let slip a huge opportunity to put Celtic to three goals against Claudio Bravo, the former Manchester City keeper who made a crucial save.
“He did not come in,” he said. “We would have been more comfortable in the game. We would have liked to have scored more goals because we had the opportunities.”
The next opportunity to impress for Jota comes quickly, tomorrow’s visit to Livingston may not be as intimidating as Thursday night’s meeting at Benito Villamarin Stadium.
It was a whirlwind start to life at the club, but Jota loves the experience of being a Celtic player.
“The debut and this game speak for themselves,” he said. “These are two good games.
“In the first one at Celtic Park, with the atmosphere and the fans, I felt great. In this one [against Betis], it was an experience in the Europa League that made my day.
“At the end of the day, I want that experience. I want to be with the guys. I want to help them through the process and keep winning and keep bringing titles and victories to Celtic.
“It wasn’t a good start to the Europa campaign, but the boys’ attitude is there. We just have to keep going.
“I’ll be where the coach wants me on the pitch. If he wants me on the right, I’ll be on the right. If he wants me on the left, I’ll be on the left. Or the front. I just want to learn as much as possible and I’ll stick to his ideas for sure.
The next test for Angeball then is to see whether or not he can perform on a plastic field, but although Jota has not had the experience of playing one in his professional career, he is relaxed in the face of this. perspective.
“As a Celtic player, at this massive club you can’t have any excuses,” he said. “We just have to be in the games to win it. ”