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I can deal with the demands of playing for Celtic, says Jota

Aberdeen v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Pittodrie Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Celtic winger Jota feels he has the mentality to adjust to the rigours and expectations of playing for the Glasgow club.

The on-loan Benfica player netted a late winner at Pittodrie on Sunday to secure Celtic’s first away victory in Scotland since Valentine’s Day.

Jota has quickly emerged as a key player for Ange Postecoglou since arriving in Scotland on transfer deadline day.

The 22-year-old scored his first goal for the club in the Premier Sports Cup against Raith Rovers and struck the bar in each of his last two cinch Premiership games before getting on the end of Adam Montgomery’s square pass in the 84th minute at Pittodrie.

Jota has made more than 20 first-team appearances for Benfica and spent last season on loan with Real Valladolid, playing 18 times. However, the European and domestic schedule at Celtic Park is already proving more demanding, especially with fellow wingers James Forrest and Mikey Johnston injured.

“Playing twice a week is something new for me,” the Portugal Under-21 international said. “I have never done this, it is my first time.

“For sure, it is an amazing feeling because you don’t get time to think about the bad things. You have to go to the next game with the best mentality and just to recover.

“We have to be mentally ready both collectively and individually for every challenge. There is a big responsibility for this club – we have to win every game and win every challenge.”

Jota and his fellow Celtic newcomers have discovered that winning on the road in Scotland is far from straightforward. After three consecutive defeats, Celtic finally took their first away points under Postecoglou after emerging from a difficult second half with a 2-1 win over the Dons.

“Football is a world language,” Jota said. “It is the same everywhere but then there are specific things in each country.

“Obviously, it is not the same as Portugal or Spain where I have been in recent years. We have to adapt, understand the philosophy of the game and the way everyone plays.

“If I stick with my mentality and personality then I want to be myself.  I am going to do that and enjoy every single moment because football is about enjoyment.”

Jota certainly enjoyed his winner, celebrating with his team-mates in front of the home supporters before the Celtic players greeted their jubilant travelling fans, who hailed their team’s long-awaited away win following nine domestic away games without victory.

“Scoring goal is one of the best feelings ever,” Jota said. “Having the team backing me up is also a very good thing. I just have to be grateful for that.

“We were a winning team and that was the most important thing.”