Callum Davidson hailed veteran midfielder Liam Craig for keeping St Johnstone’s top-six hopes alive with the winner against Hibernian.
The 34-year-old’s curling shot from 25 yards in the 16th minute at McDiarmid Park on Saturday ultimately gave the home side three valuable Scottish Premiership points.
The hard-fought victory moved the seventh-placed Perth side to within two points of St Mirren, adding spice to the last pre-split fixtures later in the month when St Johnstone host Ross County and St Mirren travel to Hamilton.
Boss Davidson was pleased with the week’s work which began with a Betfred Cup final win over Livingston last Sunday at Hampden Park before a 1-1 draw with Hamilton in midweek, and especially with Craig’s contribution.
He said “That’s three games in six days for Liam Craig and he hadn’t played in a while.
“So all credit to him how he looks after himself and kept himself fit.
“It was a great strike. Obviously it was difficult conditions and I think the first goal was going to be really important. So all credit to Liam, it was a great strike.
“He does it all the time though so I wasn’t surprised when I see it hit the back of the net.
“I will take that performance all day. In the last 20 minutes I was a wee bit concerned but I thought the front three gave us energy towards the end of the match to get us up the pitch.
“Whether we get to the top six or not, it gives us the opportunity to have some breathing space at the bottom but also something to fight for a week on Saturday.”
Hibs boss Jack Ross, who was shown a yellow card in added time by referee David Dickinson for words said to the official, saw his side’s lead over fourth-placed Aberdeen cut to three points, albeit they have a game in hand over the Dons.
He said: “It is important to regroup again but also a reminder to the players that we are still in the driving seat to finish in that place (third) in the table.
“Next week it is important that we go and win (against Ross County) but I have been critical of the team when they have fallen below standards this season but they didn’t fall below standards.
“In the second half that was probably as much as St Johnstone have been camped in their own final third at home this season.”
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