Tommy Wright received the perfect gift to mark what will be his 250th match in charge of St Johnstone – the Ladbrokes Premiership manager of the month award.
The McDiarmid Park boss will reach that magical milestone tonight when Saints host Hearts at home.
Wright geared up for the match, which could see his team jump over the Jam Tarts into fourth spot with a game in hand, by accepting the award for November.
It was a month that saw the Perth men beat Hibs 1-0 at Easter Road, turn on the style in a 4-0 thrashing of Hamilton Accies and then secure a decent draw with Kilmarnock, all without losing a goal.
Those results continued an excellent unbeaten run that stretches all the way back to October 7, when they were hammered 6-0 at home by Celtic.
Despite the prize and plaudits, Wright reckons he is still learning as a coach and it is the lesson that was dished out by the Hoops that night that has been behind St Johnstone’s success.
“It’s always nice to be recognised for how well you are doing but I am the recipient of an award that has seen a lot of people working hard to enable me to pick it up,” he said
“My philosophy has always been pretty simple. I want to get the best out of what I have got and that means hard work, man management, being decent tactically and getting players working for each other.
“They will die for you…almost!
“Ultimately, it is down to the players because if they don’t perform you don’t get results so everyone has contributed.
“It has been a great month for us and the last six games have been the perfect response to that Celtic defeat.
“It is a nice milestone to reach 250 games in charge here but I am still learning and will never stop learning.
“For example, we possibly played too open that day against Celtic but we learned from it and that is what you have to do in management.
“After that game I said my piece and left the players to it in the dressing room.
“They are an honest bunch and words were spoken. I still haven’t asked what was said but they cleared the air.
“It is great to have players who can get together and have a wee pop at each other without falling out.
“It works here, maybe not anywhere else. There are no prima donnas.
“They have bounced back and worked hard.
“Now the challenge is to keep it going, starting with a difficult game against Hearts.”