Ange Postecoglou found a sold-out Celtic Park even more of a thrill than he anticipated as a packed stadium lapped up a 3-0 Europa League win over Jablonec.
Three stands were full after coronavirus restrictions were eased, although ongoing protocols relating to players mean there were limits on the main stand capacity.
Both the Celtic supporters and players delivered a European display to remember as many fans returned to the ground for the first time in 17 months.
David Turnbull hit a double and James Forrest was on target as the supporters roared their approval of the attacking football Postecoglou is instilling.
After a 7-2 aggregate win booked a play-off against AZ Alkmaar, the Australian manager said of his first experience of a packed Parkhead: “It was brilliant. They didn’t under-sell it to me and they over-delivered. It was brilliant.
“For me, that’s what football is all about. It’s great to have success and to win, but to have these kinds of experiences is why I fell in love with the game in the first place.
“It was great to be part of it and I think they played their part. The players are in the middle of a pretty heavy schedule and at times when we looked like maybe we were running on empty, they found the edge and the crowd noise was incredible.”
Turnbull netted his first goal of the season in the 25th minute with a cool finish and powered home from long range midway through the second half.
There were some second-half scares but Joe Hart pulled off two excellent stops in quick succession to the delight of the fans.
“It was a good start, the first half-hour was really good, we fed off the energy of the crowd really well and had good opportunities to score one or two goals,” Postecoglou said.
“We lost our way in the last 15, just complicated things a little bit. Second half we started off really brightly and put them under pressure.
“Overall, considering the heavy schedule we are in and the expectations and demands I put on the players in terms of the style of football, it was a good victory and a good performance.”
Turnbull’s first goals of the season came after he missed some good chances in earlier games.
“He was brilliant,” Postecoglou said. “He’s been great all along to be honest.
“I think he’s been a bit frustrated that he hasn’t managed to score but I think his football has been brilliant.
“Him and Tommy (Rogic) were outstanding. Cal (McGregor) orchestrated things really well at the base of the midfield and those two were unplayable at times.”