ANGE Postecoglou today praised his Celtic players for showing “tremendous character” to grind out their first away win in the cinch Premiership this season against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Callum McGregor and his team mates, who had taken the lead through Kyogo Furuhashi early on, looked set to drop points on the road in the league once again this afternoon when Lewis Ferguson headed in a second-half equaliser at a Calvin Ramsay corner.

But the Parkhead club, who had previously lost their top flight encounters with Hearts at Tynecastle, Rangers at Ibrox and Livingston at Almondvale, triumphed after Jota netted with seven minutes remaining.

Postecoglou’s men have been accused of not being able to win ugly away during the 2021/22 campaign – but the Greek-Australian coach felt they answered their critics with their gutsy fightback. 

“It was pleasing,” he said. “Everyone is well aware of our struggles away from home going into last year. I think the manner in which we did it, to get ourselves back in front after they equalised, showed tremendous character.

“I think the players were searching for the winner, they weren’t going to settle for a point. I’m pleased for the players that they got their rewards.

“The fans have been patient with us so far, they can see what we are trying to do. We haven’t really rewarded them, particularly away from home.

“I’m pleased for our fans that they enjoyed the trip up here and they will enjoy the trip home. They saw today not only that we can play good football, but there is character in this team to get results when we need them.”

Postecoglou, whose side won’t play again for another fortnight due to the international break, feels the gritty performance and positive result will lift Celtic after a disappointing run of results.

“It can only help,” he said. “If there is one thing about us this year, we have definitely shown that when we play well we can definitely take it to teams. There have been games when we have scored a lot of goals and played really well.

“But the one thing we haven’t shown yet is that ability to find a way to win a game when we need it. It’s not just the victory, it’s the manner in which we went about it.

“It was a tough second half. They are desperate for a result as well, particularly here with the crowd behind them. It wasn’t easy for our players to respond to that but the fact we did respond to it, and the manner in which we did, that should give the players plenty of confidence.”

He added: “It was a good chance for the boys to stand up. I have no doubt there is great character in this team.

“We’re a new team. If you look at the players who are playing at the moment, very few of them have actually had meaningful Celtic careers so far. Guys like Monty (Adam Montgomery) and (Tony) Ralston even Dave Turnbull.

“It’s not like they have either been here for five or six years and understand what Celtic is about. Apart from Cal (Callum McGregor) and Nir (Bitton) who started and Tom (Rogic) who came on the rest are new.

“It’s just that understanding of what the expectations are at this football club week in, week out. I have felt it’s in the team, but we’ve just not been able to get over that hump. Hopefully, today gives them the confidence that they can.”