The Dutch defender was brought on for the final few minutes of Wednesday night's dramatic victory over Shakhter Karagandy that landed Celtic a £15m jackpot.
Van Dijk and fellow new Bhoy Steven Mouyokolo had a nightmare in the first leg in Kazakhstan and neither player made it into the starting line up for the return match.
And while Van Dijk was gutted not to start, he has insisted that once he gets games under his belt e Celtic fans will realise why the club forked out £2.6m for his signature.
"I haven't played too many games and it is a new experience for me," he said. "I know the things I need to work on to get me at my best here but I am confident that I can get into the team and stay there.
"I was really disappointed not to start the game on Wednesday night - but I have to say that I thought the team were excellent from start to finish.
"The pace of the game here is very different to what I have so far been used to, it is physical and I have enjoyed the games I've played.
"Getting the injury in pre-season wasn't good, but I do feel that with every passing game I will get stronger. There are things I need to work on, but I am confident that I can get it right."
Van Dijk was thrilled with the performance and the result that takes Celtic into elite company now in Europe and he is desperate to play his part in the Champions League.
The Dutchman was amazed by the noise and colour inside the stadium as Karagandy were put to the sword and he is looking to sample that atmosphere from a starting berth once the group stages get underway.
"Everyone told me about the atmosphere on a European night and that it was something special, but I think you have to experience it for yourself," he smiled.
"It was amazing. Playing in front of a crowd like that is unbelievable. I was more anxious watching the game from the dugout than if I had been playing.
"I thought it was an extraordinary night and I can't wait now for the Champions League. It is a big part of why I signed for the club. The chance to play in the Champions League is massive for any player and it has been a dream of mine since I was just a kid.
"I can't believe it is going to happen. When I came to Celtic I knew what they had achieved in the Champions League and, of course, everyone remembers the night they beat Barcelona.
"But it was still a long way off because they had so many qualifiers to play. I am really excited that we will have the chance as a team now to play in the best competition in club football."
While the euphoria around the result will linger for some time, Celtic now need to turn their attention to Tannadice tomorrow.
Dundee United had drama of their own on Wednesday night when they eventually overcame a plucky Dumbarton side in the League Cup and it ought to be an entertaining tussle between Neil Lennon's side and Parkhead old boy Jackie McNamara.
Last season Celtic were more likely to stutter in the league in the immediate aftermath of the Champions League was when, one of the blips that Lennon is keen to address this term.
And, after such a gruelling 90 minutes over Shakhter, the Hoops boss might change things around a little for the game in Tayside, meaning that van Dijk could find himself back in the starting XI.
"I hope so," he said. "At the minute we are just so happy about the Champions League and everyone can't keep the smile off their faces. But we know that there is a job to do this weekend. I hope I am playing some part in it.
"I do think that I need games and a bit more experience of the Scottish league to help me get myself to the level where I know I can operate at.
"As a player you never want to be sitting on the bench or in the stand, you want to be out there helping the team. But the team as a whole played very well on Wednesday night and it is up to the manager now what he wants to do."