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

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I wrote previously in the McDiarmid Memo about how St Johnstone needed to find a successful strike partnership to improve their fortunes in the final third this season. 

And just as the club found gold with the link-up of Chris Kane and Nicky Clark they have now been struck down with further injury troubles. 

I can’t think of another season where the club have suffered so much in terms of injuries and that stems back to the tail-end of last season too. The long list of injuries has certainly damaged our progress on the field in recent times, and it certainly played a part in Steven MacLean ultimately losing his job. 

Would Macca still be in his job if he had a fit and firing Clark and Kane to pick from on a weekly basis? It certainly would have helped his chances of winning football matches anyway. 

New boss Craig Levein confirmed this week that former Rangers and Dundee United man Clark will likely be out for around nine matches after picking up a calf knock as Saints defeated Ross County at the weekend. 

This was a bitter blow for all connected to the club, not least Clark himself. He has been a breath of fresh air since returning to the Saints squad and his goalscoring ability will certainly be missed. 

His three goals in just four games played a huge role in St Johnstone turning their fortunes around in recent weeks, but now it is about his teammates stepping up to fill his void in his absence. 

There are a few in the McDiarmid Park squad who need to show their worth at the top end of the pitch. Luke Jephcott has hardly featured in recent weeks, and he has never really been mentioned in terms of squad assessment by the incoming Levein. 

I’ve spoken before about the former Plymouth man showing glimpses in patches this season, but it is now time for him to seize his opportunity if he is given the nod, from the start, or from the bench. His lack of a full pre-season still appears to be a problem, so hopefully he is working hard behind the scenes to push for a starting XI spot. 

It would also be nice to see club legend Stevie May back to his greedy and selfish self. He can never be criticised for his work rate, and we all know what Stevie is capable of and that is the most frustrating thing. 

I’m sure we would all love to see Stevie back on the scoresheet on a regular basis and hopefully, with Kane or Jephcott alongside him, he can concentrate on getting himself into the right goalscoring areas instead of running the channels so often. 

The midfield must also do their best to chip in with goals too. Graham Carey and Matt Smith have been like new players in recent weeks and their involvements in the final third have also increased markedly. It was great to see Carey on the scoresheet with the winner against County and I’m sure Smith will open his account soon enough too. 

Others like Newcastle loanee Jay Turner-Cooke and on-loan Charlon man Diallang Jaiyesimi must also aim to push for a start. Options and squad depth will only help to push performance levels going forward. 

A bounce game against St Mirren over the international break will help build fitness for some of the fringe players and also allow manager Levein and his assistant Andy Kirk to look for further talent and link-ups in their squad.  

Next up for Saints is a trip to Tynecastle, a familiar venue for new manager Levein and it will be interesting to see what Saints team is fielded, given this international break is the first real time for the new management team to work with the players. 

Saturday’s win against Ross County was far from easy on the eye, but there was a steeliness about the team that has been lacking for large parts of this season. 

Saints were solid at the back against a County side full of strength and power. It was great to see and a clean sheet along with a victory will do the squad a world of good. 

Levein ultimately finished off Malky Mackay at Ross County and he could potentially pile on the pressure on Steven Naismith if Saints continue their recent form in Edinburgh on November 25.