THE nearest Filipe Jota got to the action in Celtic’s League Cup Final triumph last season was a seat in the Hampden stand.
The Portuguese ace, who had made such a great impression in the early months of his year-long loan from Benfica, was injured and forced to sit out the showpiece encounter with Hibs.
His left-wing berth on the big day was taken by Mikey Johnston who lasted 83 minutes before he was replaced by Liam Scales.
TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE…Filipe Jota and Ange Postecoglou embrace after the Hampden triumph.
Ironically, the winger is now in Jota’s home country in the second period of his temporary transfer at Vitoria Guimaeres and the Repbulic of Ireland left-back is on loan at Aberdeen.
Jota made up for missing out on Ange Postecoglou’s first silverware triumph as Hoops gaffer by playing his part in Sunday’s 2-1 Viaplay League Cup Final success over Michael Beale’s Ibrox outfit.
The 23-year-old fans’ favourite said: “Every Final asks for different things and this one was the same.
“We know that Rangers were going to have some good things and we needed to defend well, which we did.
“In the end, we just need to see the work of everyone – it’s not just about the 11 guys that start, it’s an all-in-one.
“Everyone helps and fights for the same thing and this is a day for the Celtic community.”
CELTIC SINGALONG…Filipe Jota is in the front line as Callum McGregor and the Celtic players whoop it up after the trophy presentation.
Jota, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “It was tremendous. I think the boys did really well and I’m proud of them, proud of the team and the staff, and this is another one for the fans and our families because we work really hard every day to achieve things like this.
“This was no different, so I’m really happy. I think it’s an exciting time to be a football player at Celtic – and a Celtic fan, as well, because in every game there’s something new happening and we can really deliver good performances.
“It’s always really important to have their support in each game and this was no different.
“I’m really proud of the fans we have and then it’s up to us to demonstrate good football. And I think we have been making everyone proud with the type of football we play.”
Jota added: “This is the thing about football – you work so much to get this tiny bit of joy, but then you just need to process everything all over again because there’s something new coming up in the next few months.
“So, we need to get ready for that and that’s our aim definitely.”