CELTIC manager Ange Postecoglou has challenged Mikey Johnston to step up to the plate and fill the void left by Jota, after the Portuguese winger was injured in Thursday night’s win over Hearts.

Jota limped off after pulling up clutching his hamstring in the second half of the game in midweek, and while Postecoglou said after the match the injury may not be as bad as it first looked, he is still likely to miss the Dundee United game tomorrow at the very least.

That may give Johnston, Jota’s replacement from the bench on Thursday night, a chance to get a run of starts, and Postecoglou says it is up to the young Scot to seize his opportunity.

“It’s always a concern when a player comes off injured,” Postecoglou said.

“Jota’s one who has played every game and he’s one we’d love to give a break to at some point. But it’s the kind of stage as a squad we’re at this moment.

“He wasn’t too downbeat after the game, he was hopeful it was nothing too serious.

“Ultimately, we need guys like Mikey and Liel (Abada) to step up, that’s why they’re here at the club.

“And if the opportunity exists for them it’s up to them to take it.”

Meanwhile, Postecoglou was delighted with the winning mentality shown by his men to get over the line in the hard-fought victory over Hearts, and he credits his experience players like captain Callum McGregor for drilling that into their teammates on the pitch.

“All you can do is look at the outcomes and the way we’re seeing out games,” he said.

“Callum and Joe Hart, the really experienced boys, are big on just driving the lads and telling them that’s the expectations around this football club.

“That’s a positive thing. It’s not me driving it, it’s the players themselves. They want to get rewards for their hard work. They understand the expectations for us, there are no excuses for us.

“From that point of view you’d rather win much more comfortably.

“But even winning 1-0 I still think instils belief in them.”