Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou declared himself a “lucky man” after Aaron Mooy inspired a 2-0 victory over Dundee United.
Mooy’s cross set up Jota for a 51st-minute opener and he netted from the spot five minutes later following a VAR-assisted penalty for Kieran Freeman’s handball.
Postecoglou was recently branded a “lucky man” by Rangers counterpart Michael Beale because of the money he has had to spend at Celtic but Mooy was a free transfer and has more than proved his worth in recent weeks by hitting five goals since his impressive World Cup displays for Australia.
“He has been great since the break,” former Socceroos head coach Postecoglou said. “I am the least surprised about that.
“It’s one of these things in football that it literally landed at my doorstep. I knew what I was getting. Maybe you can use that term, ‘I’m a lucky man’.”
Postecoglou hailed another midfielder, Callum McGregor, after his skipper made his 400th Celtic appearance in the cinch Premiership win.
“We are all pretty privileged to share a dressing room with him,” Postecoglou said.
“The greatest compliment I can pay him is that he plays every game as if it’s his first. He plays every game as if he’s got everything to prove even though he’s done it all. He trains every day like he is the new kid in the building.
“He is an outstanding individual and a credit to himself and his family. And because of the way he is, I know there is so much more to come.
“It was great that the lads could get the victory for the service he has given the club already.
“It was a strong performance and professional with the (windy) conditions.
“They worked really hard, especially in the first half to try to block the gaps we were trying to create.
“Having said that, we still got through on quite a number of occasions – we just lacked a bit of our quality inside the box and alertness. We rectified that in the second half.”
Giorgos Giakoumakis was absent again and Postecoglou admitted the Greece striker’s future remains in the balance amid interest from several clubs.
“There are only two days to go and (chief executive) Michael Nicholson’s not taking my calls any more so I’m not really sure what’s going on the background,” he said ahead of the transfer deadline.
“As it stands right now, nothing is definite in terms of his next move.
“I’m comfortable with the squad. Even if I wasn’t, Michael’s not taking my calls anymore. I think he’s telling me we are done.”
Dundee United also had a striker absent with Tony Watt linked with a move back to Belgium with Oostende.
United head coach Liam Fox said: “There has been a wee bit of movement with Tony over the last 24 hours.
“I just didn’t think it was fair on the group, on the football club, or for Tony to be in the squad. We will see what happens in the next couple of days.”
On the game, Fox added: “It was a tough 90 minutes against a very good side. I was pleased to get in 0-0 at half-time but I felt we were probably surviving for long periods.
“We conceded two quick goals and that made the rest of the afternoon difficult for us.
“From our point of view, there is no feeling sorry for ourselves because we have big games coming up.”