Ange Postecoglou praised the resilience of his Celtic side after they repelled a late Hearts fightback to claim a huge three points.
Missing key players Callum McGregor, Kyogo Furuhashi, Tom Rogic, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi, Reo Hatate claiming a stunning first goal for the club before Giorgos Giokoumakis added a second before half-time.
In a torrid last half hour, however, Hearts top scorer Liam Boyce pulled one back then smashed a penalty kick against the base of the post as the visitors were forced to dig deep to cling on.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou was made to watch on nervously as his side hung on for 2-1
Praising new Bhoy Matt O'Riley for an assist on his debut Postecoglou was delighted with the character shown by all his players
'If you chart the course of this team from the first time we were here – which people keep mentioning – the amount of challenges we've had means we haven't really had a smooth run to be honest.
'But I don't mind because it builds resilience and reveals character.
Reo Hatate (right) scored his first Celtic goal as they kept their bid for the league title on track
'It doesn't matter what team we throw out there the guys show that they are ready for it and enjoying and embracing the kind of team we want to be.
'They are not making excuses or allowances for anything and I think that's a credit to the whole group.
'The scoreline was tighter than it should have been but in terms of the overall performance I thought on a difficult night with a difficult challenge I thought we handled it well.
Hatate took aim from 25 yards out and produced an emphatic opener away at Tynecastle
'Matt was great. And Reo