IF ever there was an affirmation of the faith that the Celtic support have placed in Ange Postecoglou, his players and his playing style, it was in the closing stages of the defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday night.

Despite their team eventually being overwhelmed by their classy opponents and trailing by three goals to nil, the Celtic Park crowd rose to acclaim their manager and his team for the way they had approached the game, and the scare they had given the European champions along the way.

For Jota, unlike many of his Celtic teammates, the Champions League was not a new experience. But being applauded off after a 3-0 defeat was certainly a first. The gesture didn’t go unappreciated by the squad, and it has made the winger all the more determined that such support on the European stage also doesn’t go unrewarded.

“This speaks a lot about what Celtic is, the culture of Celtic and the history that they have,” Jota said.

“We are just grateful to have this support from everyone, and the one thing we can promise them is that we will work hard every day to try to deliver them results.

“It was definitely something unbelievable to play in this stadium with this atmosphere and this crowd in the Champions League.

“So, we just want to make our supporters happy, and we promise that every time we go out onto the pitch we are going to give everything for the shirt.”

The fans were certainly convinced that the Celtic players had done precisely that during the week, but while Jota is also proud of the efforts of his team, he was left with a lingering sense of disappointment over what might have been had they been more ruthless with the chances they created.

That clinical edge, he hopes, will come, just one of the many lessons from the night that he knows the Celtic squad have to take on board despite their creditable showing.

“We knew that we had to have personality inside the pitch, we needed to remain humble and just to play our game and that’s what we tried to do,” he said.

“We know that we had our chances, we didn’t score, and we know that when these teams have their chances they take them, and that’s it. Next time, we just need to take ours.

“The Champions League level is very high, always, and this will be a learning curve for us. I just can’t wait until the next one to get better and to get better results.

“Of course, we work hard every day to play against these teams, this is our aim.

“So, we are just going to keep on working hard, and try to get better results.”

One thing that is for sure is that when Celtic go on the road in the Champions League next week, taking on Shakhtar Donetsk next Wednesday night in Warsaw, their gameplan will not change. That much was made clear by manager Postecoglou immediately after the final whistle against Real Madrid.

“[He told us to] stick to our principles, keep working hard,” Jota said.

“We have plenty of games to go and that is what we are going to do.

“This is a Celtic team, we always want to win of course, but we know that in the Champions League there are very difficult games.

“Real Madrid is a top, top team, one of the best in the world, so now I think we just have to learn from our mistakes and go on to the next one.”

Though the scoreline didn’t fall Celtic’s way on Tuesday evening, there would have been many Celtic supporters who were heartened about their side’s chances of progress from Group F by the way that Postecoglou’s approach stood up at such a level.

For Jota though, such thoughts are a luxury he says Celtic cannot afford, with their sights immediately trained on the rather more mundane assignment of a home game against Livingston tomorrow.

“I think it’s too early for that,” he said. “We think about game after game, so now we just need to think about the league game, and then we will worry about the Champions League after that.

“That’s the secret. That’s really how we think. People often think that the only important thing is the Champions League, but it’s not. Every game counts for us.

“Now we are just going to rest and recover and think of the league game.”