Craig Levein was pleased with DJ Jaiyesimi’s contribution to the St Johnstone cause against Celtic at the weekend.
And the Perth boss is hoping for more of the same from his powerful forward when St Mirren visit McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night.
The on-loan Charlton Athletic man earned Saints a half-time lead with his close-range finish from a Graham Carey corner.
And he did a good job of relieving pressure on the team’s defence in a lone striker role.
Levein liked what he saw on Sunday.
And he believes there is even better to come from the 25-year-old.
“DJ had done well in training,” said Levein.
“His ability to fight, work hard and bring other people into the game with a bit of an X factor was something we needed in the Celtic match because we weren’t going to have a lot of possession.
“Anytime we did get the ball we needed to retain it for a period of time or get a free-kick to take the pressure off.
“He did that really well.
Opening his Saints account ✅
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) December 4, 2023
“He’s not up to full speed fitness-wise yet so I took him off.
“The last thing we wanted was him to have a good performance and then pick up a muscle injury or something like that.
“That can happen in these situations.
“He got about 70 minutes and has been fine in training after that.
Still no Clark or Considine
Dara Costelloe will be available after the elbow injury that forced him off early on Sunday turned out to be not serious.
Nicky Clark is “improving but not close yet”.
Andy Considine is unlikely to feature against St Mirren but has a chance of making the squad for the trip to Motherwell on Saturday.
Meanwhile Levein, who pointed out post-Celtic that improving squad fitness is an achievable goal, is yet to turn his mind to training plans for the January mid-season break.
“That’s not entered my head yet at all,” he said.
“It’s more about players and what we’re going to do in January, recruitment, who might be leaving, who will be staying.
“All these things are taking up a lot of my head space just now.”