Ange Postecoglou watched Jota clinch Celtic’s 2-0 win over Aberdeen with a quality strike but claimed the Portuguese winger was “one of the main culprits” in a “wasteful” Hoops performance.
Celtic got the defence of their cinch Premiership title off to an ideal start at Parkhead when defender Stephen Welsh headed in a Matt O’Riley corner in the third minute.
However, after dominating most of the game thereafter, it took a terrific 20-yard drive in the 75th minute from Jota, whose loan move to Celtic from Benfica last season was made permanent in the summer for a reported fee of £6.5m, to seal the points.
On the day the league flag was unfurled, the Hoops boss said: “There is no doubt the boy has talent and he is determined to be the best footballer he can be.
“But he was one of the main culprits in the last 15 minutes of the first half.
“He was wasteful with the ball and he gave away possession when he didn’t have to. These are the kind of things we have to avoid.
“We have to keep these guys on track and not let them get away from the things we want them to do.
“The good thing is he addressed it at half-time and in the second half, not just his goal but his general play was really good.
“I didn’t shout or give him a going over. At the same time you need to address the issues at hand.
“He was dangerous, threatening and doing the team stuff as well. You can’t just dismiss the last 15 minutes of the first half.
“There are lessons in there as other teams may punish you in that period.
“In the second half we addressed it and we finished the game strongly.
“It was a solid performance, but we were just wasteful in front of goal. I was disappointed because I thought we could have been a lot more clinical
“Sometimes you can fall into the trap of knowing we will create loads of opportunities and because of that you are not as focused as you should be.
“My view is we are creating opportunities so let’s take as many as we can.”
Dons boss Jim Goodwin admitted his side were hampered by their nightmare start to the game.
The Irishman said: “Obviously always disappointed to lose the game.
“We knew how difficult it was going to be.
“You are playing the champions, there is obviously a real carnival atmosphere around the place and we spoke about the importance of trying to keep the fans as quiet as possible in the opening 15 to 20 minutes and try to cause some anxiety and hope that creeps on on the pitch, but we couldn’t have started the game any worse.
“We gave away a silly corner initially and quite simply didn’t defend it well enough.
“It is hard enough at venues like this at 0-0, but to give a team of Celtic’s quality a head start is not what you need to do.
“I have to credit the players, they didn’t let their heads go down.”
Asked about absent defender David Bates, whose move to Polish side Legia Warsaw for a £200,000 fee has reportedly collapsed, Goodwin said: “David is still very much part of the plans. He just wasn’t in the squad today.
“I know there’s been a lot of speculation, but I’m not going to get into that in too much depth.
“Until I’ve got something to tell you guys, then David is still very much an Aberdeen player. He’s got two years left on his contract. Nothing to add.”
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