The St Johnstone that Motherwell will face tonight is unrecognisable from the St Johnstone that caved in at Fir Park at the end of November, according to full-back Anthony Ralston.
That heavy defeat, when the Saints defence wilted under cross balls, proved to be a line in the sand.
They were rock bottom of the Premiership then but there have only been two defeats in the 12 matches played since – and one of those was against league leaders Celtic.
It has been a revival built on solid ground.
“Motherwell are having a good season and they are always a tough test,” said Ralston. “You know you are in for a hard game against them.
“We had a tough one away to them which we all remember. No one likes to lose any game but that was very disappointing.
“But we have all come together and improved steadily since that game. We are on a good run of form just now.
“The reason we are where we are now is because we have stuck together as a team and that has to continue through to the end of the season.
“We are in a much better place than earlier in the season. We have picked up some good results recently and it is important we keep them coming.
“It was tough for everyone involved after the start we had.
“But it is night and day how we are performing as a team now compared to back then.”
Saints have a much younger squad than in previous seasons, which has made the experience of the manager and the senior pros all the more important.
“There are a lot of experienced boys in this dressing room, guys like Liam Craig, Murray Davidson and David Wotherspoon,” said Ralston.
“Along with the gaffer, they were great when results weren’t going our way.
“I car share with Liam and he’s been great helping me settle in at the beginning and giving me advice in terms of handling a new environment.
“He has really stepped-up to the plate for me. Liam is always there for a helping hand.
“He is always very positive and up for as laugh as well. He really is a great role model for our younger players.
“The manager has been great with me. And his experience has been important dealing with the ups and downs of the season.
“He has been the main factor in terms of how we are progressing, keeping everyone calm and making a change or two when required.
“Everyone has stuck together, no matter who is playing or on the bench.
“And on the pitch we help each other out of situations. As a collective we have stayed strong to get to where we are now.”
Saints will come up against a familiar face in Tony Watt this evening.
“Obviously they have brought in Tony and he has good qualities as a striker,” said Ralston.
“I was a ball boy when he was breaking through at Celtic and everyone remembers his goal against Barcelona.
“And the players are aware of his qualities because of the time he spent here.”
Virtually an ever-present in the Saints starting line-up, Ralston has made 26 appearances. But he won’t be able to play against his parent club in the Scottish Cup later this month.
“I want to play as many games as I can and I can’t play against Celtic for obvious reasons,” he said.
“It is what it is. That’s the cup for you. It’s beyond my control and we’ll just have to see what happens on the day.
“I have been delighted with the number of games I’ve played so far, gaining fitness and experience. I have come up against some tough teams.
“That is down to the gaffer and St Johnstone giving me my chance.”
The Saints squad is expected to be the same as on Saturday, with Michael O’Halloran unlikely to be risked.