Dundee United manager Micky Mellon welcomed back striker Lawrence Shankland but praised his team as a whole for the 2-1 win over St Mirren.
Shankland made his first start since the opening game of the season and netted his maiden top-flight goal to give the Tannadice side the lead.
Adrian Sporle put them further ahead before Richard Tait was sent off for the visitors and Dylan Connelly netted a consolation.
Mellon said: “You didn’t hear me bleating about not having Scotland’s number nine available because I think that’s an easy out for managers at times.
“I believed I had a lot of quality here and we could get results – but you saw how those players [like Shankland] get you goals.
“They score you goals like that and put in performances like that – and it’s the difference. It wasn’t all about Lawrence, though, because we did a lot of pleasing things in the game.
“We gave away a soft goal but we saw our jobs through, we won the headers, cleared our lines and did all we needed to do.
“The three games we lost before this one were against Celtic, Rangers and Kilmarnock – three established sides. We found out a lot about ourselves, took it on the chin and took all the opinions and got on with it.
“We attacked training and got on with it. You saw today the character of the football club.”
St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin felt poor defending and wasteful first-half finishing proved costly as his side lost their fourth consecutive game.
He said: “It’s obviously a sore one, a very frustrating afternoon from our point of view.
“Anyone watching the game would admit we were the better team in the first half and had the better opportunities to get our noses in front.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t capitalise on the good three or four chances we created. And then we concede from a corner, something that is becoming our Achilles heel.
“We’ve lost 12 goals this season and nine of them have been from corners or crosses into the box. As manager that’s something I’m going to have to look at and sort out.”
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