Vakoun Bayo thanked manager Neil Lennon for his support after claiming a double on his long-awaited first Celtic start.
The 22-year-old January signing suffered a hamstring injury not long after Lennon took over in late February and experienced a recurrence during pre-season.
The Ivory Coast international had only made three late substitute appearances before being handed his full debut in Sunday’s visit of Hearts and he repaid Lennon’s faith by playing a key role in a 3-1 victory.
Bayo was on hand to attack two crosses either side of Callum McGregor’s brilliant strike and the forward claimed a brace despite Hearts manager Craig Levein arguing both were own goals.
He later headed against the post before going off with cramp and getting a hug from Lennon on the sidelines.
Bayo, who arrived from Dunajska Streda of Slovakia, said: “I should have scored three and the manager told me that as well!
“He’s been great with me since I arrived and he speaks to me and encourages me all the time.
“I have benefited by the encouragement and it has paid off with me scoring.”
Bayo added: “It’s a great club and the fans are incredible. This was my first chance at starting and there were lots of people watching so I was amazed by that.
“It’s just part of football and the fans make it. The fans were happy and they understand I have been waiting for this.
“When I arrived I was really happy and then I suffered the injuries but the manager has been happy with me and the progress I was making but I had to be patient with it.”