St Mirren manager Oran Kearney praised Danny Mullen for his telling contribution as the striker scored against former club Livingston to give his side a precious 3-1 victory.
Mullen struck 12 minutes from time to break a 1-1 deadlock, with Simeon Jackson making sure of the victory for the Paisley side with a third goal two minutes later.
Mullen was handed the nod to start up front with Jackson on the bench and Duckens Nazon suspended and Kearney was pleased to see him make the most of his opportunity.
He said: “I don’t know if it was a case of trying to score against [Livingston], I think it’s just that Danny has had a frustrating season and now he’s ahead of a few others in the pecking order.
“With that there’s the pressure to play well every game, not necessarily in terms of goals but just performance. We got a good performance out of him today and he got a cracking, pivotal goal.”
The result takes St Mirren to within two points of Hamilton Accies in 10th place in the Ladbrokes Premiership and six clear of bottom side Dundee and Kearney was just grateful that they again have their destiny in their own hands.
He added: “That’s all we want. We get questions about the other teams but at this point we just have to be selfish and focus on ourselves.
“There’d be no point in me standing here today if we’d got beat talking about other sides’ results. The key thing for us is that we keep trying to churn out the three points.”
Livingston, who opened the scoring through Scott Robinson before Paul McGinn equalised for St Mirren, had captain Craig Halkett sent off by referee Willie Collum after just 17 minutes.
Manager Gary Holt said: “The red card changed the game. Eleven versus 11 would have been a really good contest as St Mirren needed to come to win the game and that would have been entertaining. But the sending off kills our gameplan.
“It was a really hot day and they played 73 minutes with 10 men and that’s some shift. The second goal takes the stuffing out of them.
“I’ve not spoken to Craig yet or seen it again. But we don’t have VAR so we have to take it on the chin. Willie’s made the decision and if we’ve got grounds for appeal then we’ll appeal it.”