Neil Lennon admits sheer relief was the overriding emotion after his first game as Celtic's interim manager ended with a 3-1 trouncing of Kilmarnock in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Parkhead.
The Irishman moved up from reserve team manager to replace Tony Mowbray, who left the club following the Hoops' 4-0 defeat at St Mirren on Wednesday night, and he could not have wished for a better start to his managerial career.
"I spoke to (Norwich boss and former Celtic midfielder) Paul Lambert last night and he said the only emotion you will feel at the end is relief and that's what it was basically, it's relief that it's over," said Lennon.
"I really enjoyed the reception I received from the fans, it was tremendous but once the game began I was totally engrossed.
"I asked for a reaction and I got one. I'm thrilled that we won and played in the manner that befits the club.
"I enjoyed large parts of the game but obviously if we had drawn or got beat I would have been devastated.
A Robbie Keane double, taking his tally to 11 in 11 games since arriving on loan from Tottenham in January, and a Scott Brown strike made it a memorable day for Lennon, despite his team remaining 10 points behind leaders Rangers having played two games more.
Kilmarnock boss Jimmy Calderwood, whose side remain second bottom above Falkirk, feared an even bigger defeat at one stage in the one-sided game.
"I felt we were very poor," said Calderwood. "We have lost five on the trot and so we tried to attack, but it didn't work for us. There was a fear factor because of our results in recent weeks.
"I would hope we would not be involved in the relegation battle but if we don't start playing better then we will be."
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