Colin Calderwood praised Hibs' character and St Mirren's ability after an entertaining 3-2 win in Paisley.
With five goals in a frenetic first half, the Easter Road side were forced to ride out pressure from Danny Lennon's side in the second half.
"The game was never over, and you could see either team scoring two quick goals as had happened in the first half," the Hibs boss told BBC Radio Scotland.
"Credit to St Mirren for the way they posed a threat."
A remarkable blunder by Buddies goalkeeper Craig Samson after six minutes gifted Leigh Griffiths his first goal since signing on loan from Wolves in the summer, but his blushes appeared to have been spared when a Paul McGowan double within two minutes put the home side in front.
But Hibs defender Sean O'Hanlon levelled with a header in the 37th minute before Griffiths fired the visitors back in front with an angled drive.
With no more scoring after the break, Calderwood secured his first away win since July, and was particularly pleased with the performance of his loan signing.
"Whoever we played today we were going to have to go on the front foot," he added.
"Leigh Griffiths did well with the first goal, but the second goal was what he's all about. He was a constant threat."
There were boos from the Hibs fans when the striker was substituted with 25 minutes remaining, but Calderwood maintains that was no reflection on his performance.
"His fitness will come with more game time," Calderwood told Sportsound.
"The way they worked today they were always going to run out of steam anyway, so that's what we know and the fans aren't aware of - that we're making a change which is tactical.
"The quality of St Mirren's crosses and through balls was excellent. We had to defend luckily and well to maintain our lead."