The memories of St Johnstone lifting cup doubles and competing in the Europa League qualifiers against Turkish giants Galatasaray are long in the past. 

Saints are now veering towards relegation with the club crumbling at a time when they should be flying high and dining out on one of the greatest achievements in Scottish football history. 

Many are to blame for the club’s recent downfall but now is not the time for pointing fingers - those at the top now must act wisely as they seek to appoint a new manager, with the consequences of relegation simply unthinkable. 

Steven MacLean picked up the unwanted title of the shortest managerial reign in the history of St Johnstone yesterday as he was sacked after just 19 games in charge at McDiarmid Park. A dismal record of just four wins with nearly a 50 per cent loss rate spelt the end for the Perth legend and it all came to a disastrous end in Paisley as St Mirren hit their league rivals for four in a dominant display at the weekend. 

It is hard to argue against the actions of chief executive Stan Harris and the Saints board - it simply had to happen. There is currently only one way Saints are heading and those with the power had to act before it was too late. 

Having been in attendance on Saturday, there was a feeling in the stands that the time was up for the current regime in the dugout. The schoolboy defensive errors coupled with an absolutely toothless attack made it incredibly tough watching, as it has been for the vast majority of the campaign so far. 

The worry for Saints now - was MacLean at fault for this? Or is it the fact the current Perth squad are simply not good enough? We will soon find out once a new manager has a crack at keeping the club in the division. 

A squad has been assembled with little Scottish Premiership experience and it has been telling on a weekly basis. Loanees and the permanent signings of released Premier League youngsters is exciting on paper, but the lack of know-how to produce points when it matters is glaring. 

It is hard to not look at the rest of the league in comparison when it comes to recruitment. Look at Kilmarnock for example, yes, they have a bigger budget than Saints, but Derek McInnes’ signings were absolutely spot-on in the summer. 

Scottish-based Matty Kennedy, Kyle Magennis, Robbie Deas, Marley Watkins, Lewis Mayo and Stuart Findlay were all added to the Rugby Park squad and look how it has paid off. Killie are flying and will without a doubt be in and around the top six come the split. 

Whoever is given the nod to lead Saints going forward will be a busy figure in January with quality and experience desperately needed, but there is no time to waste. The new Perth manager must produce wonders from the off and they must find a way to win with what they have. 

St Johnstone have now seen two inexperienced appointments fail to work in the long term. Callum Davidson’s cup achievements can never be forgotten, but ultimately Premiership status is so important for clubs in Scotland and that was at risk of being lost before he was axed. 

It was the same story with MacLean, so the club must now appoint a name who has been there and done it in Scotland. Robbie Neilson and Neil Lennon are two names that have been discussed, but whether they would be interested in the vacancy is another story. 

Former Perth midfielder Jody Morris would also be a popular appointment with fans, but his most recent stint in management with Swindon Town, where he lasted just 18 games, has alarm bells ringing. 

Another name strongly linked with the position is David Martindale and he sounds the perfect fit, if they can tempt him away from Livingston. He has worked wonders at Livi and it could be argued the time has now come for him to showcase his talents elsewhere in the division. 

Saints are in desperate need of an authoritative, experienced figure who can demand respect to get the most out of a young squad. That will be easier said than done, but Martindale certainly fits the bill given what he has produced at Livingston. 

It was a real shame to see both MacLean and fellow Perth legend Liam Craig depart the club in this way, but as previously stated, the club had no other choice. The positive aspect of the sackings is that a totally new management team will now take over with a fresh approach to the footballing department desperately needed. 

There is a possibility the next Saints boss will have no previous affiliation to the club, that is something that hasn’t been in place since Steve Lomas was appointed in 2011, with the club usually opting to promote from within. 

This can only be a positive. A fresh pair of eyes to scan over the club in its current state will hopefully improve both on-field and off-field matters moving forward. 

Three home games are up next for St Johnstone against Kilmarnock, Motherwell and Ross County. At least six points are needed from the fixtures, but the positive is, that they are not cut adrift of the pack just yet. 

A win or two at the foot of the table can change everything in the Scottish Premiership and that will be the hope of the Saints board as they begin their search for a new manager.