Paul Paton’s performance in Saturday’s Tayside derby win against Dundee was described by his manager as his “most complete 90 minutes” in a St Johnstone shirt.
The former Dundee United captain hasn’t been a permanent fixture in the Saints team after his summer move from Tannadice.
But by the time his first season at McDiarmid Park is over, Wright believes Paton will be reflecting on a job well done.
“The run from Paul (for the opening goal) set the tone,” said the Perth boss. “He had a desire to get there first and his goal typified our display.
“It was probably Paul’s most complete 90 minutes for us. The balance was good between him and Liam (Craig).
“He was able to get forward more and he had a great shot in the second half. Liam sat and mopped up things but they had a really good understanding together and there were times when Liam could get up the park.
“It’s not a combination that we have used but they are both good players and there was a nice balance about them with a right and a left footer. And we had Blair (Alston) and Danny (Swanson) with their running power with the ball outside them.”
Wright added: “Paul knew when he came here it was going to be hard getting into the team. I didn’t sugar-coat it when he signed. He knew how well the players here had done.
“He knew it would be difficult to break in but come the end of the season I think he will be able to look back on playing a large part in what is turning out to be another good season for the club.”
Wright praised Graham Cummins for bouncing back from a golden chance he squandered near the start of Saturday’s match.
“Graham will be disappointed with his early header because that is his strength,” he said.
“But he didn’t let it affect him. He gave the centre-backs a really hard time of it and helped created both our goals.”
Saints produced one of their best displays when it was needed most, according to Wright.
“That was one of our best 90 minute performances of the season, particularly at home,” he said. “It was a massive three points for us and you can’t underplay that.
“We knew the importance of the game and of starting well. That showed in the performance.
“Dundee had beaten Rangers and Motherwell in recent weeks and they probably would have fancied their chances. But the tempo we played at with and without the ball was excellent from the first whistle.
“We created far more opportunities than the opposition. We were solid at the back and we looked threatening throughout.
“The response of my players was magnificent. They opened up a 10-point gap over Ross County when it could have gone to four and now they have done the same against Dundee. It makes it extremely difficult for any of our competitors to get the wins needed to get above us. One win now, even a point, might guarantee us top six.”
David Wotherspoon has been sent for a precautionary scan on his thigh. There is a chance Steven Anderson will be fit for Saturday’s trip to Motherwell and Chris Millar is expected to resume training this week.