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

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It is fair to say that Craig Levein’s appointment as St Johnstone manager was met with a mixed reaction from Perth supporters, as well as the wider Scottish football community. 

Personally, I think his selection from the Saints board is a really smart piece of business that will hopefully guide the club to safety this term, and also help to shape the football department for years to come. 

Levein is vastly experienced with spells at Cowdenbeath, Raith Rovers, Dundee United, Hearts, Leicester City and the Scottish national team to his name. With this in mind, it is fair to say the 59-year-old has been there and done it in the Scottish game, and his knowledge and expertise are exactly what is currently needed at McDiarmid Park. 

The club are still at the foot of the Scottish Premiership table but results and performances are now moving in the right direction and with Levein now in charge, the only way is up. 

The Saints boss took charge of his first game as manager on Tuesday night when Motherwell were the visitors to the Fair City and again the hosts impressed from the off, much like they did against Kilmarnock. 

St Johnstone raced into a two-goal first-half lead and some of the football on show was lovely to see, especially given the dire performance levels up until this point in the campaign. Chris Kane and Nicky Clark again led from the front, Graham Carey and Matt Smith pulled the strings in the middle of the park and wingbacks Luke Robinson and Dan Phillips impressed as they bombed forward to join attacks. 

Watching on from the Main Stand, it was fascinating to take in Levein’s management and presence on the touchline and it was a pleasant surprise to see how energetic and animated he was. 

After being confirmed as manager, Levein explained how he would be taking a back seat in terms of coaching on a day-to-day basis with his assistant Andy Kirk given the nod to lead the team during training.  

I liked the idea of Levein concentrating fully on management, a set-up implemented by some of the world’s top coaches, but I did wonder how it would work on a matchday.  

Levein was fighting for every ball on the touchline, and it was positive to see him encouraging forward-thinking football all the way from goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov through to those at the top end of the pitch. 

Even if a pass was misplaced you could see Levein appreciated the idea and that will be appreciated by those out on the pitch too. Everyone always harks back to Levein’s infamous 4-6-0 formation during his time as Scotland manager, and for that one error of judgement, he is wrongly described as a negative manager.  

I think Saints fans will be pleasantly surprised by the football on show in the coming weeks with Levein promising he and Kirk are looking to implement a free-flowing attacking style of football on the pitch in Perth. 

Saints should have been out of sight against Motherwell at the interval in all honesty and ultimately it went to pieces in the second period, and that is not the first time this has happened this season. 

Fitness levels appeared to be lacking and as a result, players were out of position and defensive errors crept in for both goals as Stuart Kettlewell’s side hauled themselves back into the game. 

Both goals were preventable from a St Johnstone point of view, which makes it all the more frustrating that three points were not secured for the second week running.  

I don’t think Levein’s use of substitutions helped, with all three Saints changes coming late in the day and after Motherwell had levelled proceedings. There was a feeling in the stadium that the visitors were creeping back into the game after the interval and their changes certainly impacted the game - if Levein had countered that with changes of his own, then things could possibly have ended differently. 

Let’s concentrate on the positives though and there certainly were plenty. If Saints can right their defensive wrongs against Ross County on Saturday then there is a huge chance of the club moving on up off the bottom of the league. That would be a huge step, especially so early into Levein’s tenure as manager. 

To conclude this week’s McDiarmid Memo I just want to salute the Fair City Unity for their touching display of support to Graham Carey and his wife Rachel Borthwick at Tuesday night’s game. 

Rachel is preparing to battle cancer for a fourth time after discovering a lump around her armpit in March and a GoFundMe page has been set up so the mother of two can receive the best treatment possible to aid her fight. 

A £50,000 target has been set and the FCU held a bucket collection before the game on Tuesday to show their support as well as holding a minute’s applause in the stands alongside a tifo display. 

It was a touch of class from the Saints support, but it is to be expected from these guys. They are a credit to the city of Perth. 

My thoughts are with Rachel, Graham and family going forward and would urge everyone to donate what they can here