Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin has praised Leighton Clarkson after watching the on-loan Liverpool midfielder score a free-kick winner at St Johnstone.
The 20-year-old’s incredible effort after 11 minutes in the second half was the difference between the teams at McDiarmid Park.
Clarkson also impressed throughout the game in Perth as the Dons secured their first Premiership victory on the road since last December.
Goodwin said: “He’s a quality player. Technically, we know exactly what we’re going to get. Physically, he needs to build some muscle if he wants to return to Liverpool and play in the Premier League.
“He is very brave with the ball, he takes it in tight areas and looks to play forward.
“That free kick was really good.
“I was petrified that Jonny (Hayes) was going to take! I haven’t seen Jonny hit the target from a free kick in god knows how long.
“I was screaming to let Leighton hit him and luckily he got away.
“Sometimes you need that bit of individual shine. When you sign these quality players, you hope to have a winning game.
“(Bojan) Miovski was our winner in the past games. He was unlucky with the goal that was cut. He is always in the right areas. But you can’t rely on just one player.
“People will see a 1-0 win and think it was a close game, but we were in control and are disappointed not to score more goals.”
Goodwin was surprised when told how long it had been since Aberdeen had not secured an away League win, which also came at St Johnstone.
He added: “I was not aware of this statistic. It’s quite incredible for a club of this size to have this kind of track record on the road. It’s extremely disappointing and luckily we were able to put an end to it today.
Saints manager Callum Davidson, meanwhile, insists his side need to be more ruthless in attack.
Aberdeen keeper Kelle Roos was called up twice to stop Graham Carey and Jamie Murphy as the home side struggled to come up with ideas.
Davidson said: “I have to ask more of my players in the final third. They need to be more positive.
“I thought our set pieces were pretty poor as well.
“I actually feel for my guys as they put in a real change.
“We just needed to be more clinical in what is a tough league. We have to make sure we win this game 1-0.
“We probably didn’t do enough at 1-0 and we weren’t good enough to equalise.”