Tommy Wright celebrated securing his future as St Johnstone manager by becoming the boss of Aberdeen for the day.
The Northern Irishman’s game plan went so smoothly at Pittodrie that he maybe should be asked to help out with Brexit.
The 2-0 win was classic rope-a-dope stuff from Saints, with the visitors soaking up every blow the Dons threw at them before knocking their opponent out with a couple of sucker punches.
Just like someone sitting ringside at a Muhammad Ali fight back in the day or watching Rocky or Creed at the movies, you could see it coming a mile away as the Aberdeen players eventually tired and ran out of ideas.
Their guard dropped and, with the help of the fresh legs provided by substitute Blair Alston, Wright’s men punished them with a headed goal from Joe Shaughnessy on 71 minutes and then a super strike from Alston himself just three minutes later.
This calm, composed victory moved them four points ahead of the Dons, who had been hoping to leapfrog them in the Premiership table.
It stretched Saints’ unbeaten run to a fabulous eight matches – six wins and two draws – and it is no wonder they are looking up the table rather than down from their fifth position.
Personally for Wright, it was the perfect end to a not-too-shabby week after being named manager of the month and then signing a deal to stay in charge at McDiarmid Park until the summer of 2022.
They face Motherwell at home next on Saturday and Wright is looking for his side to maintain their excellent run of form as they push for what he sees as the only slot in the top six up for grabs.
“For once I agree with the pundits about the top six,” he said.
“The teams above us keep winning as well and in another year we would be higher up the table.
“It’s nice to be on the coat-tails, though, with a game in hand on Hearts.
“Twenty-eight points is an excellent return from the games we have had and 20 from the last 24 is an incredible return.
“The players have been magnificent and they deserve to be where they are in the league.
“They are still growing as a group but they have that togetherness in the group, in the squad.
“If we could get top six this year it would be an incredible achievement.”
The game was only three minutes old when Ross Callachan missed the target with a header from point-blank range after being found by Scott Tanser’s cross.
It was a wonderful chance for Saints but Callachan just couldn’t get enough strength behind the ball.
The Dons had an opportunity of their own on 10 minutes when the visitors’ defence was caught square but ex-McDiarmid man Stevie May’s shot flew wide of the far post.
Matty Kennedy nearly had the 325 away fans cheering on 25 minutes when he took possession wide on the right. With the angle so tight you expected him to cross but instead he lashed in a half-volley that goalie Joe Lewis had to push over the bar.
The Dons then almost grabbed the lead on 37 minutes when Max Lowe went on a mazy run up the left before crossing deep into the danger area but there were no takers.
The Perth men had keeper Zander Clark to thank just seconds before the interval when he clawed out a header by Scott McKenna.
Saints should have had a penalty on 50 minutes when Shay Logan brought down Callachan inside the box.
It was of the stonewall variety but referee Don Robertson had Wright and his bench raging when he waved play on.
David Wotherspoon fired over a wayward cross from the left on the hour mark and it almost sneaked into the net with Lewis scrambling to cover.
Up at the other end, keeper Clark got down well to parry a strike from Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson on 63 minutes.
Alston came on for Callachan on 69 minutes as Saints searched for the breakthrough.
The goal duly arrived on 71 minutes and skipper Shaughnessy was the scorer.
Wotherspoon had done well to play in sub Alston and his shot was pushed away by Lewis for a corner. Wotherspoon took the kick and up leapt Shaughnessy to bullet a header past Lewis to give the visitors the lead.
Just three minutes later, it was 2-0 to Saints.
This time it was all about Alston, who picked the ball up near the halfway line, drove towards the Dons goal unchallenged then placed a classy, curling lovely shot past the stunned Lewis from 20 yards.
Dons boss Derek McInnes was frustrated that his players couldn’t follow up their away win at Rangers in midweek.
He claimed fatigue could be an issue as his team face a jam-packed December, which continues with a home game against Livingston tomorrow.
McInnes said: “We were mindful of the third game in six days hence we freshened the team up.
“Sam Cosgrove was suspended and we rested Niall McGinn but we have no options at the back.
“The players will have a day off now and they will be rested down and we will look after them again on Monday.
“It’s clear that some need it. They’re normally far better than what they showed and they’ve got to be fresh as possible.
“Hopefully, we’ll have one or two back, certainly we’ll have Cosgrove back and maybe one or two others for Tuesday night.”