St Johnstone were flying high and Drey Wright was on top form when the winger’s season was cut short 10 months ago by serious injury.
And now that he has returned to action, the Englishman wants to make sure both become the case again in the near future.
There was a bit of symmetry about Wright’s comeback, given it was in a Kilmarnock game at McDiarmid Park that he suffered his cruciate knee injury.
But unfortunately there was to be no fairytale ending to his long lay-off, with Wright’s impressive late substitute’s contribution on Saturday not enough to salvage a point against the Ayrshire side.
“It was a disappointing result,” he said. “It would have been perfect to come back with three points.
“But it didn’t work out that way.
“I thought we were unlucky to lose. They were pegged in and there was wave after wave of attack.
“But we didn’t have enough end-product or shots away to really trouble them.
“That is something we can work on and hopefully put right.
“It was a while back now but it was in this fixture last season that I picked up the injury.
“I have been training fully for the last few weeks so it was up to the manager whether he put me in the squad.
“But that was always my aim.
“The consultant had the final say on returning to games. It is all cleared up now.
“When I came out of the team we were on a good run. The aim for myself and the team is to get back to those levels.”
Wright made an instant impact on his return to training, prompting his manager to waste no time in getting him back in a matchday squad.
“There has been a lot of hard work put in but credit to the staff,” said the former Colchester man.
“I wasn’t behind when I joined in training. I was up to speed and fully fit.
“It was a relief to get back out on the park. It’s been a long time coming.
“There wasn’t any apprehension. I have been confident and there were no hiccups along the way.
“I just had to hit the different dates of progression and it has all got to plan so far.”
The next target for Wright is getting into the Saints starting XI.
“Hopefully I can get starts as soon as possible,” he said.
“We have reserve games coming up and then I’ll be looking to be available for the games against Aberdeen and Rangers.”
Saints toiled to get into the sort of rhythm they found at Easter Road the week before and the goal they conceded was a shocker.
One moment they were outside the Killie box with a free-kick and then within seconds Liam Millar had run virtually the full length of the pitch unchallenged before some unconvincing penalty box defending resulted in Stephen O’Donnell scoring from close-range.
Perth boss Tommy Wright reflected: “The tempo of our play in the first half was way below what I expected.
“Let’s be honest, there was nothing in the game.
“We couldn’t cross the road. Too many crosses didn’t get past the front post.
“That was summed up by the free-kick that led to the goal. There were a number of mistakes on their counter-attack. You could say we were unlucky because Liam Gordon clears it and Wallace Duffy runs back in and it puts it into the path of O’Donnell.
“We were better in possession in the second half but we didn’t create enough with it to get anything out of the game.”
It may have been a different story, though, had Michael O’Halloran’s header a few minutes earlier, after a cleared corner was sent back into the box, not been chalked off for offside.
“The goal should never have been disallowed,” said Wright. “It’s not offside. To compound it the officials told us it was Wallace who was offside and he was nowhere near being offside. It was a poor decision and a perfectly good goal.”
Wright didn’t have any argument with the denial of a penalty when a Stevie May injury time shot struck the arm of a Killie defender, saying that it was close enough to his body.
A lively cameo from the homecoming hero and his namesake were the plus points for Wright.
He said: “Stevie had a slight groin problem and we weren’t sure if we were going to play him or not. He got on the end of a few things and had some shots.
“Drey Wright – we needed his quality. He’s come on at right back and was great. He was the only one to put a decent cross in.”