Celtic: Jota discusses ‘premature’ but Ange Postecoglou pushes for climax and half-century title

Ange Postecoglou’s men not only have the chance to effectively seal the championship with a win over Hearts, bidding for a 30th consecutive top-flight game unbeaten, they are looking to maintain the third-longest unbeaten run in a top flight for 54 – a record bettered only by invincible campaigns at Celtic in 2016-17 and Rangers last season.

The Celtic manager refuses to get bogged down in the details of how victory could all but seal the title for his side – leaving Rangers needing a complete turnaround in the remaining fixtures, both in points conceded and goals scored, to revise the advantage of six of their rivals. points and 19 goals. It’s not about winning the title in style, it’s about continuing in the style that has delivered 25 wins and four draws in their last 29 Premiership games.

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“That’s why we are in this position now,” said the 56-year-old. “Not fighting, but trying to play a certain way and taking a really positive approach to every game we’ve played. It has to continue until the end. If we try to change our approach now, or if we tighten up in any way, we’re not going to do ourselves justice.

“We just have to play well, win the game because we played well and see what develops from there. For me, it is not something that is given to us. We had to win everything this year. We have to win the title and the way we do that is to get enough points on the board that we don’t get caught. Until then, nothing will change in our goal.

In Celtic support circles, much of the attention this week has been drawn by reports in Portugal that the club are preparing to activate the £6.5m buyout clause and acquire Jota. It has been extrapolated that the 23-year-old must have hinted his long-term future is with Celtic. Postecoglou suggests that it would be “premature” to come to this conclusion. Talks continue with both the wide man and fellow loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers. Celtic are also pursuing a deal worth around £6m with parent club Tottenham Hotspur for the centre-back, who has been an integral part of the season.

“We are at that stage of the season where people will speculate but on our behalf nothing has really changed,” the Celtic manager said in reference to the two potential deals. “We are in talks with Jota’s representatives, and from our point of view, obviously we would like him to stay. He has had a great year for us. But with all these things, you need everyone’s agreement. the sides, hopefully we’re working on that. I’m not aware of the chat mate, but if you tell me there are suggestions for meaningful progress, then they’re premature. It’s the same with Cam We’re talking to him. He’s a player we’d like to keep at the football club, I know he’s really happy, but with all these things all parties have to agree. Until you arrive at this space, there is no real certainty as to the conclusion of the case.

Celtic are also keen to retain Tottenham defender Cameron Carter-Vickers on a full-time basis. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Celtic’s Jota has impressed on loan. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group)
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