Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes said Ash Taylor “doesn’t get a fair rep sometimes” after the centre-half’s goal secured three points against St Johnstone.
Taylor lashed home in the 54th minute at Pittodrie after Saints failed to clear a Lewis Ferguson corner.
As well as the goal, McInnes pointed to Taylor’s recent performances at the back for Aberdeen, who are now unbeaten in six league games.
He said: ““He’ll get a bit of recognition because he scored the winning goal, and rightly so. Ash doesn’t get a fair rep at times.
“He’s been outstanding in the last three games here. He’s been part of a back three which had three clean-sheets in a row and we’re disappointed we haven’t made it four.
“He’s a big lad. He can be an easy target at times.
“But in games like that when you need him to stand up, take responsibility and be a giant for us, he was exactly that. I’m glad he was in our team and not in their team.
“Good on him getting a bit of recognition because it’s not before time.
“From there, up until the last seconds with the cross from Stevie May, we were pretty comfortable and the better team.
“I think we deserved out points, but it was tough with the weather. You have days like that up here and we came through it, with good desire and drive.
“We’re halfway through the season, 38 points, we’re on track to qualify for Europe again but there’s still a lot to do.”
Aberdeen, who close out their festive fixtures with a trip to Livingston on Wednesday, followed by a home meeting with Dundee United on January 2, were only the better team in two short bursts either side of half-time against St Johnstone – a period in which they got both their goals.
Liam Gordon had somewhat deservedly headed Saints in front, but a soft penalty, given after Jamie McCart tangled with Sam Cosgrove, and which came moments after referee Alan Muir had turned down a better spot-kick shout for handball, allowed the Englishman to send the Reds in level at the break, before they came out of the second half traps and took the lead.
McInnes was content getting the three points from a losing position on what was a cold and blustery afternoon.
He said: “It was job done in the end.
“It was tough out there for both sets of players, I’ve played in dozens of games like that over the years where there’s no real enjoyment in the game for the players, so you get that at the end of the 90 minutes if you’ve got the result.
“I think it’s unfair to criticise any of the players about the play when the weather is as wild as that, the pitch is dry and bobbly – you can see how hard the surface was with their goal, the ball bouncing up over Joe (Lewis) like that.
“All you can do is be pragmatic, get your basics right, and for their first goal we didn’t do that. We created that goal for them – we gave a needless throw and a needless free-kick and gave them a chance to put the ball in the box, and they took full advantage.
“We got level with the penalty – I can understand (St Johnstone boss) Callum Davidson being frustrated because it was soft, but we should have been given it 10 seconds earlier for the handball, which was exactly the kind we’ve been victim of this season.
“We asked the players at half-time, even though we’d got the equaliser, to be more pragmatic, more responsible, run beyond them, these weren’t the conditions to overplay in.
“We switched (wing-backs) Jonny (Hayes) and Matty (Kennedy), to get a bit more flow to the game and try to go inside and outside, and we got some of that early in the half and we got the second goal ourselves from a set play.”