St Johnstone: Steven MacLean brace delights Tommy Wright
St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright praised the contribution of Steven MacLean in over Motherwell.
The striker scored twice on his return from knee surgery, while Gary Miller added a third in an emphatic home victory.
"Medically it wasn't a risk to play him, but he hadn't played a game," Wright told BBC Scotland.
"I just felt that we maybe needed a bit of a spark. He is a leader on the pitch."
MacLean, making his first appearance since October, netted two first-half strikes as the home side marched three points clear of seventh-place Hibernian in the battle for a top six spot.
"He is one that gets at people," said Wright of MacLean. "He gives them a rollicking when he has to and encourages them.
"I think he's someone that can take the pressure off Steven May as well, and that was important.
"He's a hyper lad. He's been banging on my door, sending me text messages, but I'm really pleased for him. To be out a long time and come back and get two goals is great for him."
The McDiarmid Park side shrugged off two league defeats in a row, and gained revenge for their 4-0 humbling at Fir Park on New Year's Day, leaving Wright delighted.
He said: "[It was] a terrific performance. It has to be against a very good side.
"We were disappointed with our performance on Saturday, but tonight I think from the first whistle we showed we were out to make up for that. I thought we were excellent and probably could have won by more goals.
"I'm delighted for all the players. Gary Miller has had to be patient and he scores a tremendous goal late on to wrap it up.
"It was a good team performance. We dominated large spells of the game and that was pleasing."