This piece is an extract from yesterday's McDiarmid Memo newsletter, which is emailed out at 6pm every Thursday.

To receive our full, free St Johnstone newsletter including this type of quality discussion and analysis straight to your email inbox, click here.

Two goals, fight and passion on the pitch, and most importantly three points on the board. St Johnstone are alive and kicking once again. 

Wednesday night’s victory over Kilmarnock was huge and there is now a belief amongst us Saints fans that the club can retain its Scottish Premiership status this season - I can’t believe I am saying that just days after the horror show against St Mirren! 

Football is a crazy game, isn’t it? Many had us written off after the humiliating defeat in Paisley and in last week’s McDiarmid Memo I was raving about Derek McInnes’ Kilmarnock as I touted the Rugby Park squad for a top-six place. But what do I know, eh? 

I firstly want to credit Alec Cleland and the Saints coaching staff for regrouping the squad and finding a fire within that has been absent for the vast majority of the campaign so far. There was something special about seeing Cleland in the dugout alongside Alastair Stevenson and Danny Griffin, three guys who have given their heart and soul to the club over the years. 

Alec has been a tremendous servant and it is clear he is a respected figure throughout the McDiarmid Park ranks. He has spoken with class and dignity during his time as caretaker boss so far and he will continue to do so for as long as he is in the job - Saints are lucky to have someone like him in the football department. 

The team itself was terrific on Wednesday, a different animal in all honesty, and with that in mind you have to share sympathy with Steven MacLean. The team was clearly capable of more than what they had shown up until Wednesday evening, but for whatever reason they just haven’t shown it. 

Chris Kane and Nicky Clark helped to set the tone for the entire team and that pairing is something that MacLean never really had the chance to utilise. Clark’s goalscoring instinct is something the team have been crying out for ever since he picked up his injury at the tail-end of last season. 

Kane’s determination and battling qualities have been equally missed and he must stay fit now as he aims to earn a new deal. On last night’s showing, the club must get a new contract drawn up for the double winner, with his current agreement due to expire in January. 

It was refreshing to see Cleland opt for an old-school 4-4-2 attack when St Johnstone were in possession - at long last we carried a threat because we had numbers piling into the final third of the pitch. 

With a more attacking set-up, creative midfielders like Graham Carey, Dara Costelloe and Matt Smith were able to show their worth and cutting edge, all three were excellent. There is talent in the Perth squad, it just appears some have been shackled in a defensive set-up so far this season. 

Sven Sprangler was again combative and neat on the ball in the middle of the park and his passion for the club is just brilliant. He is already a fan favourite, but he has all the attributes and personality traits to become a St Johnstone great. 

In defence, Luke Robinson deserves a major shoutout. He will admit that some matches have been difficult for him this season, but he always applies himself and gives 100 per cent. The Killie victory was, without a doubt, his best performance in a Saints jersey. He was assured defensively but also offered an attacking threat from full-back, which was promising to see with a look to the future. 

Ryan McGowan was also reinstated into the Saints starting XI and he slotted back in seamlessly. There was clearly an issue behind the scenes that saw him drop out of contention completely, but he is an experienced asset that the starting XI has missed. A fresh start under a new manager will be ideal for him and his experience could be vital. 

The Kilmarnock performance and victory will also help as St Johnstone continue their search for a new manager. A weight is already off the shoulders of the new boss with the first win of the season secured, and that may well prove to be key as an appointment is made. 

I understand the new manager will be named before next week’s clash against Motherwell at McDiarmid Park and it looks like the club is going down the experienced route and I am delighted about this.

I’ve said on a number of platforms this week that Saints need someone who has been there and done it in Scotland and the candidate must know what is needed in a relegation scrap in the Premiership. 

David Martindale, Craig Levein, Robbie Neilson and Neil Lennon have all been linked and I think any of the aforementioned would fit the bill for what the club are looking for at the minute. 

More inexperienced candidates like Scott Brown, Tam Courts, Dean Shiels, Charlie Mulgrew, Kevin Thompson and Jody Morris have also been touted, but with a fight for survival on the cards, appointing one of these guys would certainly be a risk. 

I have full confidence that chief executive Stan Harris and the board will select the right candidate for our club and hopefully, the imminent appointment will add to the feel-good factor created after Wednesday night’s massive victory.