Dundee United caretaker coach Laurie Ellis can hold his head high after bringing the curtain down on his successful spell in charge.
The managerless Tangerines drew level with league-leading St Mirren on 23 points at the top of the Championship thanks to this vital 2-1 home victory on Saturday.
The result also allowed Ellis to make way for the new man – whenever he is finally appointed – having secured a 100% record, with United having also beaten Dumbarton the previous weekend.
Central defender Mark Durnan put United 1-0 up after just 11 minutes, heading a Scott Fraser freekick into the net, before Sam Stanton grabbed their second with low strike on 79 minutes.
Adam Eckersley scored in stoppage-time for Saints but it was almost a footnote.
To some of those who have seen the assured way in which Ellis has stepped into the breach following the departure of his pal and former boss Ray McKinnon, the assistant should at least consider applying for the permanent position himself even at this late stage.
Indeed, it is understood that the players have enjoyed working with him so much this past fortnight that they have been urging him to put his own name forward.
However, he insists he is happy to leave the path clear for a more experienced number one.
“It has been a really difficult fortnight and it has taken a power of work to get to this point,” said Ellis.
“It is not easy taking charge at Dundee United, which is a fantastic club. There is a lot involved in managing it.
“So I have been given a little insight into what Ray had to deal with.
“It is the first-class squad of players that he put together that have gotten these two wins.
“The remit in this division is to win every game and we have come out of our last two games with six points.
“That does give the incoming manager a good platform to take the squad on to where they need to be at the end of the season.
“There is a lot involved in managing United and a maybe an experienced head, who has seen things before and has quick answers for every dilemma on and off the pitch, is what’s required to keep the club moving forward.”
Modest Ellis also handed all the credit for Saturday’s success to the players.
“It was a great, hard-earned three points against a very good St Mirren side who are at the top of the league for a reason,” he added.
“It is the players who have done it. They are the ones who got the result.
“It is about the guys who cover every blade of grass on the pitch.
“We have all worked hard over the last couple of weeks but they have generated the spirit and shown a reaction.
“They have taken their own responsibilities on the park and got these two results.”
Ellis had named an unchanged team for this second match in charge of the Tangerines.
On five minutes, United striker Scott McDonald had the first attempt at goal when he shot low into the arms of keeper Craig Samson following a Fraser corner.
Just two minutes later, Matty Smith broke goalwards for the Tangerines and, instead of having a go himself, squared to Fraser. However, the ball got caught up in the midfielder’s feet just yards out and the chance was lost.
Having been the better team in the early stages, it was not a surprise when the hosts took the lead on 11 minutes.
McDonald was awarded a freekick when he was chopped down by Stephen McGinn out on the right. Fraser took the setpiece left-footed and floated it to Durnan, who glanced home a header from around the penalty spot that sneaked inside the far post.
Billy King sent a low shot well wide on 27 minutes after Tam Scobbie had found him with a header, then one of the biggest cheers of the day went up from the home support when captain Willo Flood won a series of tenacious tackles.
Ex-United loan man Cammy Smith got into a great position for the visitors on 40 minutes but pulled his shot well wide of goal then, just seconds later, the same player found the side-netting.
Just two minutes before the break, a sweeping move from the Tangerines saw Flood play the ball square to Fraser in space and his shot wasn’t too far over the bar.
St Mirren looked in the mood after the break as United looked in danger of sitting too deep.
With 56 minutes on the clock, a Fraser pass sent King away up the right and he cut in before firing in a cross-shot that had to be pushed away by keeper Samson.
Fraser pounced on a stray pass from Lewis Morgan and raced up the park. He pulled the trigger from inside the box but Samson did well to make the save.
On 66 minutes, King did well to crate space for himself up the left and his cutback pinged about the box until McDonald had a low strike blocked.
Having weathered the storm after the restart, the hosts were looking for a second and broke forward on 75 minutes through Stanton. The on-loan Hibs man played in Fraser, who cut inside to his left foot but the strike was blocked by Jack Baird.
The Tangerines had the ball in the net just a minute later when Scobbie slid the ball home at the back post off a Fraser cross but the flag was up for offside.
Just seconds later, Fraser did well again to find Stanton and the midfielder was unlucky to see Samson save.
This was good stuff from United and, once again, it wasn’t a shock when they got a second goal on 79 minutes.
Sub Fraser Fyvie picked out Fraser at the far post with a great cross from the left and the playmaker controlled the ball before setting up Stanton to smash a low shot past Samson.
In injury-time, home sub James Keatings was picked out by a Flood pass and his shot from just outside the box was deflected just inches past the post.
The visitors grabbed a consolation goal with the last kick of the game when Eckersley scored with a dipping shot from 25 yards but this was United’s day.