WIDE Bhoy Filipe Jota has played a double flanker in his two appearances for Celtic following his season-long loan arrival from Benfica.
The 22-year-old Portuguese raider was on the left during his debut against Ross County last weekend, but was asked to switch to the right for Thursday’s Europa League Group G encounter against Real Betis in Seville.
Jota moved to take over from the equally-impressive Liel Abada who had to miss the match in Spain through religious beliefs and his replacement eased effortlessly into a different position.
Ange Postecoglou has given the tricky forward the full 90 minutes in the games as he works on his match fitness although Jota has visibly tired in both encounters.
ON A WING AND A SLAYER…Filipe Jota has impressed in his first two games.
At full speed, the exciting attacker, who spent the previous campaign at Real Valladolid on a temporary transfer, will be a thrilling addition to the new-look Hoops as they settle into life under the Greek-Australian gaffer.
Jota is eager to play a part and is not complaining about having to rotate in a number of roles.
He said: “I will be wherever the coach wants me on the pitch.
“If he wants me on the right, I will be on the right. If he wants me on the left, I will be on the left – or the front.
“I just want to learn as much as possible and I will stick with his ideas for sure. I do my work to help the team. I work every day on my football. At the end of the day, my team will support me and I will support them.
“We just have to keep on and bring the results.”
JOY BHOYS…Filipe Jota joins in the celebrations after Josip Juranovic’s penalty-kick goal against Real Betis.
Jota is a confirmed admirer of the manager’s methods, despite the team blowing a two-goal advantage in Seville before losing 4-3 in a frantic, hectic confrontation.
He continued: “I think the performance in Spain shows we have personality because Betis are a big team and we went face to face with them. That was a good moment from us.
“We have to face every single game like that and score more goals and I think we will learn from this because if we don’t believe in ourselves nobody else is going to believe.
“We have to stick with our process and just do our thing, believe in the ideas of our coach and our club and stay true to ourselves.”
Following the strikes from Albian Ajeti and Josip Juranovic, from the penalty spot, Jota had a superb chance to make it 3-0, but his attempted lob over the head of the outrushing Claudio Bravo was clawed away by the keeper and the home side survived.
Amazingly, they turned the game on its head with four goals without reply before Anthony Ralston headed in a late third for Postecoglou’s side.
WATCHING BRIEF…Ange Postecoglou keeps a close eye on Celtic performances.
Jota, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It didn’t go in. We would have been more comfortable in the game. We would like to have scored more goals because we had the opportunities.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we wanted, but I think the attitude is there. We just have to keep on doing our things, keep on track and just believing in the process.
“I think the next games will be better. It’s not the result we wanted, but let’s look to the other ones.
“We are working on every front. Defensively, offensively, we have to be strong in every single area. It’s not only defensively.
“We do the work every single day and every single game, so I just think we need more games, more time and things will be fluid for sure.
”The debut and the game the other night speak for themselves. They were two good games.
“In the first one at Celtic Park, with the atmosphere and the fans, I felt very good.
“In this one it was a Europa League experience that made my day. I want this experience. I want to be with the lads. I want to help them through the process and just keep on winning and keep on bringing titles and victories to Celtic.
“It was not a good start to the Europa campaign, but the attitude of the boys is there. We just have to keep on going.”