“If he’s ready to put me in, I’m ready to fight for him and the club,” Jota

Jota may well have played himself into the manager’s team selection thoughts for Wednesday night’s Champions League finale against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium as Celtic look to exit the competition with a bang. The Portuguese winger has been missing since scoring in Germany against RB Leipzig so missed out on both recent home matches against both Bundesliga side and Shakhtar Donetsk in club football’s premier competition.

He came off the bench yesterday to put the icing on the cake of a comfortable Celtic win at a venue where we used to struggle, but not anymore. Credit too to fellow substitute David Turnbull for his run and cross for the assist.

Photos for The Celtic Star by Vagelis Georgariou

Yesterday morning we predicted the starting eleven ahead of the game against Livingston and got all but the centre-forward right, as we reckoned that Giakoumakis would have started ahead of Kyogo. So if we’re going to do the same for the trip to Madrid, then the Celtic team we reckon that Ange Postecoglou will pick will be as follows:

Hart, Juranovic, Taylor, Carter Vickers, Jenz, O’Riley, Hatate, Mooy, Forrest, Kyogo and Jota. So will Jota get the nod for the Bernabéu? The player himself says that’s a matter for the manager but he’s certainly ready to play.

Photo for The Celtic Star by Vagelis Georgariou

“It’s not a question for me, it’s one for the gaffer but if he’s ready to put me in, I’m ready to fight for him and the club,” Jota said yesterday afternoon at Livingston after the 3-0 Celtic victory as reported by Scottish Sun. “I think the quality has been there in every game we’ve played in Europe, and people who understand football can see that.

“The guys are playing well, there are just some details we’re not getting. In the Champions League, you pay a very high price if you’re not on it in every game.

“I think there’s always a determination in these games, but our aim for the rest of the season is to play every Premiership game as if it’s a Champions League game.

Photo for The Celtic Star by Vagelis Georgariou

“We need to remind ourselves that we want to be better every day. And in order to do that we just need to think as though it could be our last game. That’s the mentality we have to have,” Jota added.

“Every game is a good stage. You’re always under evaluation from your coach, from other teams, from your previous teams, from Celtic, everyone. You just need to be as consistent as possible.

“It was a very important moment for me to come back from injury and score, but most of all it was about the victory for the team. This was a game we knew was going to be very difficult. It’s like that every time we come here, so I was very happy to get the win.

Photo for The Celtic Star by Vagelis Georgariou

“In football, you have to be ready for situations when you have an injury. Although we can be professional, some injuries come up because we can’t control everything. So when there are these setbacks we just need to fight back to get better every day and aim for the future.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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