KILMARNOCK’S record in the Premiership before Steve Clarke arrived as manager read a dismal three points and no wins from eight games. They were rock bottom and facing a season of fighting relegation.

After this deserved win against a St Johnstone team travelling in the opposite direction, the men from Rugby Park are fifth in the table having played a game less than most of the teams around them.

Even if Celtic win a second treble, Clarke is manager of the year. Not only has he got Kilmarnock wining games, they do so playing football which is ever-so easy on the eye.

St Johnstone, by stark contrast, have been anything but chipper in recent times, and this was another poor performance.

“It was a great performance from start to finish," said Clarke. "I felt Lee Erwin was outstanding but Jordan Jones will get the headlines because he's quick and direct. He's good player who I would pay to see. He tries to make things happen and he’s been good for us.

"It was a comfortable win because we made it so. The only thing was we should have scored more than two.

"How far can we go? It's hard to say. It’s difficult to say. I’m not going to get carried away We’re three points further away from the bottom."

Jones was superb. The winger clearly got out of bed on the right side that morning and got things going after eight minutes.

Picking up the ball close to the halfway line, the Northern Ireland international ran past one, two, then three St Johnstone players and while the shot was straight at Alan Mannus, his adventure was an example of the confidence Clarke has injected into this football club.,

St Johnstone’s Chris Miller was more than fortunate to escape an early booking; he caught Gary Dicker high and late but referee Willie Collum felt a stern word was enough.

Collum, however, did penalise the visitors on 28 minutes and it was one of the easier decisions he’s ever had to make.

The excellent Jones was proving a handful for St Johnstone. His trickery was too much for the bamboozled Aaron Comrie who waited until his tormentor was inside the box before putting in a truly woeful attempt at a tackle.

A penalty was given and Kris Boyd, with some inevitability, did his job from 12 yards.

Jones was in the mood all right and St Johnstone could only handle him by illegal means. Not that Wright felt this was the case.

The St Johnstone manager was not a happy man when Jones was left on the ground right in front of him. It’s fair to say the two had a different opinion on events. It was a bit unnecessary and at the same time highly entertaining.

"Jordan got smashed in front of their dugout and Tommy thought he went down easily," was Clarke's take.

"But when he stood up and he had a split on his lip I think it was pretty obvious he had been caught."

But Wright could have no argument about his team going down to ten men. Jones, of course, picked up the ball, got one-on-one with Jason Kerr who through sheer desperation brought down the Killie man as he was about get through on goal.

It was a definite red and it could have gotten worse for the Perth men when Boyd’s free-kick was inches away from the top corner. Jones turned to the St Johnstone bench at this point and held a finger to his lips. Talk about rubbing it in.

In a frenetic end to the half, Mannus did well to keep out a Jones effort, Lee Erwin hit the post, Aaron Tshibola thought he’d scored with the follow-up only to be denied by a linesman’s flag. Half-time could not come quickly enough for Wright.

However, it remained Kilmarnock in the second-half. Their next goal was a cracker and came on 57 minutes following great one-touch football on the by-line which ended with Erwin and Stephen O’Donnell playing an exquisite one-two.

This sent Erwin scampering towards goal and with three team-mates waiting for a pass, decided to go on his own and guided the ball low past Mannus to kill the game.

St Johnstone should have scored more but were so comfortable that they saw out the game as if it were a training exercise.

“It was the same old story,” moaned Wright. “We always make it easy for the opposition to score. I thought we were doing with eleven players and I felt Aaron got the top of the ball at the penalty, but he may have got the man. That first goal then kills us."

Kilmarnock: MacDonald; O'Donnell, Broadfoot, Findlay, Taylor (Simpson 84); Power, Dicker, Tshibola; Erwin, Jones (Frizzell 79); K Boyd (Brophy 68)

Substitutes not used: Fasan, McKenzie, S Boyd, Wilson

St Johnstone: Mannus; Comrie, Shaughnessy, Kerr, Tanser; Wotherspoon, Davidson, Millar (McLean 67), Alston; Williams (Johnstone 45); Kane (Gordon 43)

Substitutes not used: Clark, Craig, Willock, McCann.

Referee: Willie Collum