Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou praised the battling qualities of his Scottish Premiership league leaders for grinding out an eight straight domestic victory against Motherwell at Fir Park.
The Hoops seven-point lead at the top of the table came under threat in North Lanarkshire but goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda were enough to render Ross Tierney’s late strike a consolation as the home side tried to set up a grandstand finish.
The victory maintained Celtic’s advantage over Rangers following a pulsating 90 minutes and Postecoglou was delighted with the way his side came through some heart-stopping moments at Fir Park.
He admitted: “It was a bit of a grind tonight. We never really got into the rhythm we wanted. Credit to Motherwell who worked hard and made the game difficult for ourselves. It’s not easy away from home so another win is good.
“We could play better but a big part of this team is their character when we’re not at our best. The performance wasn’t at the levels we wanted it to be. But, part of the strength of this team is the strength and resilience. Again we found a way.
“Winning away from home in the Premiership is never easy. I prefer to play well every game but over the course of a season that’s impossible. They’re human beings. We’ve had perfect league form in a period of real fixture congestion, including Europe.
“There won’t be many teams in Europe who have gone through that and had the results we’ve had. I’ve got no doubt that we can finish strong on Saturday. All the boys who have come through this will feel better about themselves for having come through this run of games.”
VAR ruled out Jota’s sublime effort for a tight offside call just before the hour mark after the winger was deemed to have raced onto a through ball a fraction too early, despite television angle proving inconclusive which led to uncertainty over referee Willie Collum’s decision.
Postecoglou admitted he had no complaints despite confirming he hadn’t watched the re-run back, he told BBC Scotland: “It was a great goal, but if it’s offside then it’s offside. I have no problem with VAR, just use it when you need to. That’s the perfect example if that’s offside. I haven’t seen it but it’s a good time to use it.”