St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright sounded like a teacher of a bright pupil who knows the grades should be better than they are.
The McDiarmid boss had just watched Craig Thomson come off the bench and stun a quality Aberdeen team at Pittodrie by creating his team’s first goal then scoring the second in a wonderful 2-0 win.
It was a fabulous contribution from the 22-year-old and one that did wonders for Saints’ Europa League ambitions.
Wright, though, acted as if he knew all along that Thomson had it in him. It wasn’t a surprise to him that the sub could do such damage to a Dons team that has been by far and away the second-best in Scotland this season.
Indeed, the report card appears to read: “Craig is a very able student but can do better.”
Now the gaffer wants to see that talent reach a high performance level on a more regular basis.
Wright, who had Thomson out on loan at Elgin City and Stranraer – the latter as recently as January – said: “That’s what he can do.
“We need to see more of that from him.
“He is a young player with pace and he needs to show more of that quality and consistency because he is 22 and we are trying to emphasise that he needs to step up.
“We see him in training every day so we know there is more than what we see when we play him.
“So he has to be pleased with that and hopefully that will give him a big lift.”
Thomson replaced David Wotherspoon with 72 minutes gone and then proceeded to take the game by storm.
Just eight minutes after the switch, St Johnstone took a dramatic lead.
Thomson created the chance for the visitors with his shot from a tight angle that was saved by home goalie Joe Lewis
As the ball ran loose, Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack kicked it and Lewis picked it up.
Referee Alan Muir awarded a freekick for picking up a passback, much to the horror of the Dons players.
Liam Craig then nonchalantly laid the ball into the path of Danny Swanson, who fired home to make it 1-0 to Saints.
If that left Pittodrie stunned then the home supporters were in shock three minutes later when the Perth men made it 2-0.
Thomson was a hero once again, this time scoring himself with a low drive after Saints had caught out the hosts with a terrific break upfield through Swanson.
With Hearts only drawing at Tynecastle with Partick Thistle that left Wright’s men with a six-point advantage over them and closing in on Rangers, who sit half-a-dozen ahead with four matches still to play.
That makes Europa League qualification that little bit closer and Wright was delighted.
“It’s a great three points and probably three more than people thought we would have had at this stage,” he said.
“We tried to emphasise to the players all week that people wouldn’t expect us to come up here and get a result but we put in a sterling performance.
“It wasn’t a pretty game. The conditions didn’t help and the pitch didn’t help.
“However, we defended well, nullified one of the best teams in the country, and provided the two moments of quality in the game – the move that got us the freekick and the counter-attack move that sealed the game for us.
“I think on that basis we just about deserved the win.
“We were solid, we defended as we know we can do, and I really can’t remember Aberdeen getting through us.
“I don’t think our keeper Alan Mannus has had a difficult save to make.
“If we can split one of the big four (Celtic, Aberdeen, Rangers and the Jam Tarts) by getting fourth spot it will have been an incredible season for us.
“We also know the prize is Europe.
“Our aim is to go to Celtic next week and try to get something there and get the job done as quickly as possible.
“It’s not over yet,” added the Perth boss, who had to take off Chris Millar in the first half because of a groin injury.
“I felt two wins after the split would be enough for us so if we can get one more.
“You can never take anything for granted and I don’t think it’s a done deal yet.
“However, this result for us combined with Hearts’ result does help us.”
Mannus, who was celebrating his 200th appearance for St Johnstone, had to stay alert as the Dons did make chances but the longer the match went on the more you fancied Saints to head back south with something.
That point was almost conceded by Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, who said: “When you play against St Johnstone, the first goal is always very important.
“When we got some flow to our game in the wide areas we looked very threatening without really causing their goalkeeper any problems.
“While I wasn’t convinced we were going to score, I certainly didn’t think we were going to lose the game.”
McInnes was unhappy with the backpass decision that led to Swanson’s opener.
He said: “I think the referee has a part to play in the first goal.
“Our set-up in how we dealt with the free-kick is up for question but I don’t think it was a blatant passback.”