Ange Postecoglou was delighted to see his Celtic side end a long wait for a first away Scottish Premiership victory as Jota’s late winner secured a 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie Stadium.
The Hoops had not won on their travels since February and headed north to face an out-for-form Dons team, who were in similar need of points.
Following a lively start to the match, Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi chested home the opening goal from a superb David Turnbull cross after 11 minutes.
Jota then rattled the crossbar with a ferocious drive from distance, but the home side grew into the contest and responded early in the second half when Lewis Ferguson headed in Calvin Ramsay’s corner in the 56th minute.
However, the visitors grabbed an 84th minute winner when Tom Rogic slipped the ball through to the supporting Adam Montgomery who fired a low a cross to Jota and the Portuguese winger swept home.
The result will relieve some pressure that had been mounting on Postecoglou as the Hoops head into the international break six points adrift of leaders Rangers.
Speaking in his post-match interview, Postecoglou said: “I’m pleased for the players, staff and our particularly our supporters.
“We knew this was a pretty important game for a number of reasons. We had a disappointing night last Thursday and have had our troubles in the league away from home this season.
“With all those factors and even the manner in which we won it, I thought the players showed tremendous character not to settle for a draw and press for a winner. That’s probably the one thing people were questioning up until now.
“I’m really pleased they got their rewards. I think the players will take tremendous belief from this game. It’s not an easy place to come and win, Aberdeen were also desperate for points.
“There’s no doubt we’ve played some good football so far this season but when we’ve needed to get ourselves out of difficult situations, we’ve really struggled to do that.
The Australian head coach was pleased with the way his side managed to carve out their winning goal and admits the international break has arrived at a good time for his threadbare squad.
He added: “Some of our players have been carrying an awful load because we just haven’t had options in certain areas of the park.
“Freshening up played like Tom (Rogic) helped him. He’s still a fantastic player, he can see things others don’t and he played a great ball to Monty who was outstanding.
“He’s showed good composure in the final third when he knew we needed a winner.
“Jota is another we’ve thrown in to pretty much every game, so he’ll welcome a bit of a break now.
“Kyogo is always a threat. In every game he plays he causes problems, but we can’t just have one avenue for goals.
“So far we’ve been pretty good at spreading them around the team. Liel (Abada) has got a couple when he’s played as well.”