ANGE POSTECOGOLOU hailed the character of his team after Celtic made it 20 successive unbeaten league games with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Aberdeen at Pittodrie last night.

The game see-sawed dramatically before the dust cleared in the north-east to leave the Hoops a point ahead at the Premiership pinnacle after their nearest challengers beat Hibs 2-0 at Ibrox.

Postecoglou grinned as he saw his side race to a two-goal interval lead through goals from Filipe Jota and Matt O’Riley, his first for the club.

However, the Greek-Australian groaned when the Dons pulled it back to 2-2 following strikes from set-plays that should have been dealt with.

Jota restored the smile with a quickfire third and the points were on their way back to the east end of Glasgow.

OFF AND RUNNING…Filipe Jota after the opening goal at Pittodrie.

Celtic rose to their third challenge in eight days against former captain Scott Brown and his team-mates after taking care of business against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Govan outfit and Motherwell, scoring seven goals and not conceding in the process.

Postecoglou said: “I think we have been very good for a very long time. We have won a trophy and we are sitting at the top of the ladder.

“I think our season has been decent from any objective perspective.

“Whether people think that’s good enough or believe in us sustaining it, that’s a different question. But from my perspective, we are improving as a team.

“Players are understanding the football we want to play and within that they are showing resilience. It’s not like we’ve had it easy at any stage, including this occasion.

“We’ve had to fight for it. To do what we’ve done this season means that this group of players are showing really strong characteristics of a team that can be successful.”

HAIL THE WINNER…substitute Giorgos Giakoumakis gets in on the act as Filipe Jota celebrates the third goal with Matt O’Riley and Daizen Maeda.

The manager can see his hard work in two transfer windows – in which he brought in 17 recruits – beginning to pay off.

Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It is helping us, getting the squad we need to tackle the task ahead. The way we play is very demanding. Even here you are coming away from home against a good team and we are the ones initiating play and provoking and working to score goals so there is no respite for the players.

“If you don’t have a strong squad it takes its toll.”

Last night’s goalscorers Jota and O’Riley started Sunday’s match at Fir Park on the substitutes’ bench before making an appearance after the interval.

Now the focus turns again to the Scottish Cup with Raith Rovers due at Parkhead on Sunday for the for the 4pm kick-off.


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