After the dust had settled on the poor showing
of 2015/16, manager Alex Rae had a massive clear-out with no fewer than 13 players departing.
Loanee David Clarkson returned on a permanent deal and Kyle Hutton (Queen of the South), ex Saints youth
player Ben Gordon(Livingston), Scott Gallagher(Alloa Athletic), Gary MacKenzie(Doncaster Rovers) and another ex Saint in John
Sutton from St Johnstone all came in to try and get saints back to the top flight.
On the eve of the big kick off the loan route was utilised again with the return of Lawrence Shankland from
Aberdeen for another season and Rangers youngsters Tom Walsh and Ryan Hardie on loan deals until January.
The season started with the league Cup and a return to the group
format of the 70's and 80's. In similar vein to Saints record in those days, they failed to progress from the group
despite winning 3 of the four matches!
League form followed the poor showing in the league cup and after failing to
record a win in the first six games, Alex Rae was sacked.
On the 4th October Jack Ross was announced as the new manager.
He brought in former Kilmarnock defender James Fowler as assistant.
The season continued in similar vein until the January transfer window when the new manager completely rebuilt
the squad with ten players leaving and ten arriving.
One of the key signings was ex saint Stephen McGinn who was immediately handed the captaincy and he was to be an inspirational
leader as the fightback began.
In mid February,
saints were still 8 points adrift at the foot of the table, but some great performances dragged them to within touching distance
of Ayr United and Raith Rovers by April.
6-2 defeat of Ayr and a 5-0 hammering of Raith saw saints move off the bottom of the table and a last day draw sealed a remarkable
transformation and a seventh place finish.