Matchday 26 was quite a weekend in the Scottish Premiership. Steve Clarke became the…
We’re into the final stretch before the split now and the two halves of the table have just about taken shape.
March was another hectic month of Premiership action. We had an Old Firm, an Edinburgh derby and more than a few surprise results. Now that March is over, we now need to name our Manager of the Month.
Using our manager power rankings, we’ve had a look to see which coach gained the most points last Month. The following managers are our top three, with the last one the winner. Have a look below to see how your team’s coach got on.
At the start of the month it looked like Hamilton would get embroiled in the relegation scrap but, once again, Accies have begun to pull away from the dreaded relegation zone. They’re not safe yet, but it would take a pretty spectacular implosion for them to be dragged into it now.
March began well for Accies with a win over Motherwell and they followed that up with a respectable draw away to Ross County. Two defeats followed – first a 1-0 defeat at McDiarmid Park, then 2-0 away to Killie – both difficult fixtures where plenty of teams would struggle.
Canning gained three points for the win over Motherwell in the Lanarkshire derby as Accies were expected to lose the fixture, then picked up another two for the Ross County result for the same reason. In the other two matches, Canning avoided being docked points as Hamilton were expected to lose both fixtures. All in all, Canning had an overall gain of +5 over March – not too shabby from the 36-year-old.
Things are looking up at McDiarmid Park now. A month ago it looked like if the Saints went on a poor run of form they could have been dragged into the relegation zone, but after a fairly successful month those worries have been put to bed. A top six finish is no longer mathematically possible, so Tommy Wright will now be hoping his side can be the best of the rest.
March was bookended with a couple of defeats for St Johnstone but Wright will be pleased with his team’s efforts on the whole. Saints started the month with a defeat to Kilmarnock before thrashing Dundee 4-0 at Dens Park. A 1-1 draw with Hibs followed, then a home win over Accies. The Perth side then travelled to Pittodrie at the weekend and lost 4-1.
The St Johnstone boss wasn’t penalised for either defeat as they were both matches where they were expected to lose. Wright picked up three points for the win over Dundee, two for the draw with Hibs and a solitary point for Saints’ victory against Accies, giving the Northern Irishman an impressive haul of +6 for his work last month.
It’s fair to say that Steve Clarke has rarely put a foot wrong since he joined Kilmarnock but even by his lofty standards, March was a special month. When Clarke took over earlier in the season, Kilmarnock were languishing at the bottom of the table. After a successful month, their top six status is now secured and they could even qualify for Europe if their good form continues.
Off the back of their form last month, it’s certainly possible. Killie played St Johnstone, Ross County, Rangers and Hamilton and beat them all. Not only that, in three of the fixtures Killie kept a clean sheet. Since Clarke took charge, Killie have only lost three games – to put that in context, only Brendan Rodgers has lost fewer games this season. And he’s only lost two.
The bookies seem to be believers in the Steve Clarke effect now, with Killie favourites in every game they played last month, apart from their fixture against Rangers. Clarke picked up three points for Killie’s win at Ibrox, and a single point in the other three games, giving the former West Brom coach a total of +6. This is equal to Wright’s record, but Clarke’s our manager of the month for reaching the score in fewer games.