Neil Lennon praised Charlie Mulgrew after the stand-in captain came to the rescue of Celtic in a 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Parkhead.
Mulgrew's winning goal kept Celtic 10 points behind leaders Rangers at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and was warmly welcomed by manager Lennon who had seen his team's early lead wiped out. Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng gave the home side the lead in the 17th minute but defender Ryan Jack levelled for Aberdeen on the hour mark.
However, with nerves jangling, former Aberdeen defender Mulgrew drove high into the net from close range in the 72nd minute to restore the lead and confirm himself as a key part of Lennon's side. The Celtic boss said: "Charlie scored with his right foot so he has had a good week.He scored last week and set the goal up in midweek and scored again."
He added: "He has been really consistent for us this season and I am delighted for him - I think it is the first time he has captained a winning Celtic team.
"He made a mistake last week and corrected it with the third goal. He has played brilliantly for the majority of the season and came up for the winner.
"His improvement since he came back here has been huge. It is a credit to him that he went away down south to forge his career and didn't give up on it and now he is captaining Celtic which is a great achievement for him."
Aberdeen ended up with 10 men after Jack was sent off with 10 minutes remaining after picking up the second of his two yellow cards. The Dons defender, already booked for over-celebrating at his goal, was shown a second yellow by referee Stevie O'Reilly for a foul on Gary Hooper.
Visiting manager Craig Brown was "aggrieved" with the decision, saying: "I don't want to change the laws because we had a man sent off but to be cautioned for over-celebrating was harsh.
"A word in his ear might have done it. The fourth official said he was warned not to go off but he wasn't in the crowd so I think it was a bit harsh.
"The second one - there were other fouls in the game equally bad which didn't result in a caution so I feel a little aggrieved but I never criticise the officials. I am not blaming the ordering-off for losing the game but it made it a mountain to climb, man short, away from home against a team fighting to stay in SPL contention."