The Five Best Managers in Scotland this season


Derek Adams (Ross County)

My manager of the year. After returning to the Highlanders in the summer after a stint at Hibernian, he led them to the First Division title and with it promotion to the SPL. But that doesn’t begin to tell the story of Adams’ success this season. He led them to the title with five games to spare, incredibly losing only one game in the process.

Still only 36, Adams has cemented his place in the Dingwall club’s folklore and his record in the extremely tough First Division should be widely celebrated.

Stuart McCall (Motherwell)

The former Bradford City manager has done a remarkable job since arriving at Motherwell last year. He led them to last season’s Scottish Cup Final before losing to Celtic, whilst also leading them to a place in the top six.

This season he has built on that foundation and then some. With one game of the season remaining, McCall has led his side to third place and with it Champions League football, due to Rangers administration woes.

He has consistently delivered some notable results throughout the season and got the best out of players such as Shaun Hutchinson, Keith Lasley and Darren Randolph week in week out.

Neil Lennon (Celtic)

Despite Lennon hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons on occasions this season with his comments and touchline antics, there can be no denying Lennon deserves praise for leading his team to the SPL title.

After an inconsistent start to the season which saw his team fall 15 points behind Rangers in the title race (albeit with two games in hand), Celtic then went on a seventeen match winning run which helped guide them to their first SPL title in four years.

Lennon has made some shrewd signings over his two years in charge and players such as James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew have really kicked on this season.

Whilst Lennon will regret not being able to lead his side to a treble, he has proved himself as a very capable manager this season.

Paul Hartley (Alloa)

What a debut season Hartley has had in management with Third Division side Alloa. Getting the gig just four days after retiring as a player, Hartley was immediately presented with a problem as only one player was signed for the new season.

Hartley used his contacts brilliantly, with the signing Stevie May on loan from St Johnstone one of the notable captures.

His team romped to the title, finishing 14 points ahead of Queens Park to secure an immediate return to Division Two. At the age of 35 Hartley has already shown himself to be a very astute manager.

Kenny Shiels (Kilmarnock)

My final choice goes to the Northern Irishman who has been superb throughout his first full season in charge of the Ayrshire Club.

After being tipped for relegation by many this season, Shiels is on the verge of leading his side to a seventh placed finish. This comes after losing some of last season’s star men, in particular Craig Bryson.

He has made many successful signings, such as striker Paul Heffernan as well as his son Dean Shiels.

But undoubtedly his reason for making my list is for his League Cup Final triumph in March against Celtic. Shiels set up his team superbly that day and Dieter Van Tornhout’s late winner sealed a first trophy for the club in 15 years.

Many other managers just missed out on the list, but these five stand out from the crowd this season in the Scottish game. Feel free to disagree.


About Author

Ewan is a third year Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University. A Rangers season ticker holder, he is interested in all things related to Scottish Football, but also writes about the English Championship.

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