St Johnstone manager Craig Levein hailed his Highland hero after Benji Kimpioka scored the winner for the Perth side against Ross County.
The former Sunderland forward’s raw pace has never been in question but the quality of his goal in the 1-0 Dingwall victory suggested there is far more to his game than just running power.
“He has to be easier on himself because he’s trying to come into a new club and hit the ground running,” said Levein.
“The goal wasn’t just about speed – there was calmness there as well.
“Sometimes just having players with pace is enough to make a difference in a match.
“The goal wasn’t just pace and a simple finish – he put the ball right inside the post in the bottom corner and showed great precision.”
Saints are now into ninth place in the Premiership and this was their first league away win.
“It was always going to be a tough place to come – it’s never easy up here – so we needed to dig in and fight and run and chase,” said Levein.
“We had to do the ugly side of the game well.
“They had lots of crosses, but I felt we dealt with those fairly well and I wasn’t too stressed on the touchline.
“I didn’t feel under pressure.
“Sometimes you feel it on the touchline, but we dealt with their crosses really well.
“I don’t remember any one-on-ones or chances like that.
“We will all be going down the road quite happy.”
Key players out
Matt Smith, Liam Gordon and Dan Phillips all missed the match – adding to the sense of satisfaction.
“We went into the game without Dan, Matty and Liam, who have been our most consistent players this season,” said Levein.
“I thought our centre-backs were brilliant.”
All three have a chance of featuring against Hearts on Wednesday night, as does David Keltjens, who came off at half-time.
“It’s nothing major, just wee muscle strains, but if you put them in and it gets worse you’re looking at six weeks out.
“They were more precautions.
“Hopefully they will be alright for Wednesday but I thought the guys that came in were excellent.
“All in all, it was a pretty good game.”