CELTIC’S shy superstar Aaron Mooy reveals it is more about RELIEF than exhilaration when he comes off the pitch after another Hoops success.
The Australian World Cup midfielder played his part again in Ange Postecoglou’s side 3-0 triumph over Hearts in the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Tynecastle yesterday.
Mooy was the man who got the Parkhead side off to a flyer with an exquisitely-timed left-foot effort from a Filipe Jota slide-rule pass that thumped beyond the startled Zander Clark for the opener inside two minutes.
ON THE BALL…Aaron Mooy in control against Hearts.
Kyogo Furuhashi doubled the team’s advantage with an audacious back-heel flick from a superb delivery by Alistair Johnston on the stroke of half-time and Cameron Carter-Vickers chipped in with his first goal of the campaign when he headed in the third 10 minutes from the end.
It brought down the curtain on another inspirational display from the visitors who notched up their THIRTEENTH consecutive at a ground where some ill-judged comments from elsewhere insisted would provide a banana skin in Celtic’s quest for a domestic clean sweep in this crusade.
Mooy, 32, admitted: “Listen, Celtic is a demanding club. Whenever I play, I’m under pressure to perform and win. That’s what the supporters expect.
“It’s enjoyable because you feel everything at this club. The support, the pressure. Everything you can feel in football, you feel it at Celtic.
“I’m enjoying the challenge and, hopefully, it can be a good season. But I hate this bit, doing press conferences!
NICK OF TIME…Aaron Mooy slides in to rob Andy Halliday of possession as Cameron Carter-Vickers looks on.
“But the heightened senses here really energise me. I’m getting a bit older, so I’m trying to maximise everything that I’m doing.
“Celtic is a club where you feel the support, you feel everything. I’m just taking it all in.
“It’s a feeling of relief when you win more than exhilaration, 100 per cent. Especially in big games, that’s the first thing you feel relief – it’s not joy or happiness.
“Because you just did what you were meant to do. That’s something I have not experienced before in my career.”
The League Cup has returned to the Parkhead trophy cabinet, the champions are nine points clear with 10 games to play in their bid for a second successive crown and the win in the capital earned the team a place in tomorrow night’s semi-final ballot.
JOY BHOY MOOY…Celtic’s Aussie playmaker savours the League Cup Final triumph.
Postecoglou is not keen to discuss trebles, but Mooy, who was reunited with his former Australia international gaffer in the summer as a free agent after leaving Chinese Superleague club Shanghai Port, continued: “It’d be amazing to win all three trophies, obviously.
“But we’re just taking it one game at a time, we can’t look too far ahead.
“Naturally, we want to do it, we want to win every game we play in. It was the perfect start for us on this occasion to get a goal so early. You can’t ask for any more.
“I thought we did the job that we came here to do. We played well in stages of the match and it’s not always like that away from home. So, you have to be resilient. We did that and passed the test.
“It’s hard to say if we’re playing the best football since I came here. As long as we keep winning, that’s our job.
“The supporters and everyone else can decide on that stuff. We just go out there, do our movements, do our jobs and try to win the game.”
ON THE SPOT…Aaron Mooy fires in his second Celtic goal with a penalty-kick in the 4-0 win over Hibs at Easter Road three days after Christmas.
Mooy had to wait until hitting a double in the 4-0 win across Edinburgh against Hibs at Easter Road on December 28 for his first goals for the team and his sublime net-crashing drive against Robbie Neilson’s side was his seventh.
However, the former St Mirren, Huddersfield Town and Brighton midline operator points out it is not his most accomplished striking sequence.
Mooy, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It’s not my best goalscoring season so far – I scored goals in Australia earlier in my career.
“But in this team, there are good players everywhere. You make the runs and they see you.
“The system creates chances. Hopefully, I can get some more. I do enjoy it. When we have a good game, my morning coffee tastes better.
“Until the game is won, I don’t enjoy it that much. Until the whistle goes and we’ve done our job.
“I won’t watch the full match again. I’ll probably watch my goal or the highlights.”