Mortiz Jenz explains crowd celebrations as on-loan defender given no assurances by Celtic boss after encouraging debut
The Hoops left it late to seal an important victory against the Staggies in Dingwall on Saturday.
Debutant defender Mortiz Jenz grasped his opportunity at the heart of Celtic’s defence by scoring the Hoops second goal in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Ross County.
The on-loan Lorient centre-half was drafted into Ange Postecoglou’s starting line-up in place of Stephen Welsh who missed out due to illness and the imposing German put in an assured performance in the Highlands.
The 23-year-old was on hand to meet Jota’s cross on 84 minutes and powered a header into the net to spark wild celebrations in the packed away stand at the Global Energy Stadium.
Jenz’s momentum carried him into the adoring Hoops supporters as he opened up on his dream of celebrating with fans in British football and outlined the importance of his goal at a timely point in the match.
He reflected: “It wasn’t a bad debut. It was amazing to play my first game in front of a fantastic away crowd. Then to score was like a dream come true.
“We knew at 1-1 we had to win the game so I wanted to get in there and score the goal. In the end, it happened.
“You always hope to get on the end of the ball and I timed it well. I showed real desire to score the goal.
“It was incredible to celebrate with them (the fans) at the goal. I’ve always wanted to score in a British game and run into the crowd. There’s no stopping, you just run in with your emotions.
“It was amazing. It took some time to get out but I did.”
Jenz impressed during his first outing in Scotland’s top-flight alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers in Dingwall.
Asked what he made of his first taste of Scottish football, Jenz replied: “It was my first experience and I expected them to be very physical.
“We knew they’d play first time balls in behind us and try to win second balls. That was a very interesting combat but you have to play your own game and be brave.
“It was quicker than I expected, it was fast and direct. It’s a different style for me but some teams play like this. We played in a different way, attacking, brave football.”
Despite creating a strong first impression, Ange Postecoglou reiterated there are no assurances for any player at the club that they will keep their place in the side - Jenz included.
With Carl Starfelt nearing a return from injury after missing pre-season and Welsh’s availablity set to increase competition for places in the Hoops backline, Postecoglou admits his players must earn the right to start.
He admitted: “I get why people think that way, but I don’t think there is anyone here who is assured of anything.
“I’m not assured of anything. I’m sure when the first loss comes along everyone will be questioning me. We’re all out there every day trying to prove ourselves. That’s the kind of environment we want to have.
“There’s no one out there, even Cal (Callum McGregr), who can think they are guaranteed something. You are only guaranteed something if you perform at the levels you can. That’s how you get the best out of people.
“Bringing Mortiz in helps Carl, it helps Cam, it helps Welshy be the best they can be, because every day at training they are competing against each other. They are raising each others’ level.
“If I just had two centre-backs and the level around them was lo, then how are they going to improve? You can’t improve just in games, you have to improve every day.
“So, for all these guys, it’s about every day trying to be the best they can be, and being ready for any opportunity that comes their way.”