FILIPE JOTA had a snappy answer to the inquisitor who asked if he was concerned about the amount of points Celtic have already dropped in the title race.

The on-loan Benfica attacker, an instant hit with the Hoops fans, fired back: “Last time I checked there are no champions in September.”

Jota, rated at £6.5million by the Lisbon giants, set up the goal for Liel Abada in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United at Parkhead on Sunday, the club’s eleventh dropped point in the Premiership after successive away losses at Tynecastle, Ibrox and Livingston.

The Portuguese winger faced the media today in the countdown to the Europa League Group G encounter with Bayer Leverkusen under the lights in the east end of Glasgow on Thursday and made it clear no-one at the club was pressing any panic buttons.

Asked if he was perturbed about Ange Postecoglou’s team being six points off the pace, Jota fired back: “We don’t think like that. We are still only in September.

NUMBER ONE…Filipe Jota signals his first goal for Celtic in the 3-0 Premier Sports League Cup win over Raith Rovers.

“Last time I checked there are no champions in September.

‘So, I think we just have to play game by game. I think we have to learn from the things we do wrong, develop and just be a better team.

“So the championship will end in May, I think, and then we can speak about that.

“For now I think there is plenty of the championship to play.”

The Hoops have been hit by a landslide of injury problems since the campaign kicked off with captain Callum McGregor, top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi and Scotland pair James Forrest and Greg Taylor along those sidelined.

However, Jota, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “I think those are always extra factors that are around the team, but we have to go with the players who are fit and do the best we can.

‘For sure the players that are going to come back will help us a lot and we are looking forward to that because we want everyone fit to help the team.

“I’m 100 per cent confident in the players we have got because I think we have a quality group.”

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