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Steven MacLean has been handed a three-year contract as St Johnstone manager after leading the Perth side to safety.

The former Saints striker stepped up to replace Callum Davidson on a caretaker basis last month and has only lost one of his five cinch Premiership games in charge.

Steve Brown has rewarded him with an extended contract just before he steps down as chairman.

MacLean, whose side host Livingston in their final league game on Sunday, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity.

“I met with the chairman (on Friday) and we sorted things out very quickly. I thank him and the board for giving me this exciting opportunity.

“St Johnstone has a very special place in my heart. This club has been a massive part of my life and means so much to me.

“We have secured our SPFL Premiership status and that was my immediate goal.

“But the work for next season starts now and I will be giving my all to be a successful St Johnstone manager.”

Brown said: “I am delighted to get Steven secured on a three-year contract.

“I’ve known him for many years and I always had him down as a leader.

“As interim manager, he hit his targets very quickly and it became abundantly clear that he was the man I wanted to lead us on a permanent basis.

“He totally gets St Johnstone from top to bottom and has an excellent rapport with our supporters. We all believe good times are ahead for our club.”