Manager power rankings: Scottish Premiership matchday 28

Manager power rankings: Scottish Premiership matchday 28

By James Cairney

Matchday 28 was another memorable weekend of Scottish Premiership action. David Templeton grabbed a late, late winner at New Douglas Park to give Accies a much-needed boost in their fight against relegation, Kilmarnock came back from two goals down to earn a point at Rugby Park while on Sunday, Celtic comfortably overcame Aberdeen (again) thanks to goals from Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney.

 

We’ve got just ten rounds of fixtures left until the Premiership’s conclusion and apart from a couple of outliers, there’s still plenty up for grabs in our manager power rankings. The rankings, updated with the weekend’s results, is below.

 

Robinson closes in on Archibald

 

Motherwell remain in contention for a spot in the top six of the Premiership after winning 1-0 at Dens Park, courtesy of Craig Tanner’s first-half strike. The result means that Neil McCann’s outfit have now lost their last four home fixtures on the bounce.

 

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson received a point for the win as his team were the pre-match favourites, giving him an overall score of +10. Before the weekend’s games, Robinson trailed Alan Archibald by seven points – that gap has now been reduced to just four. But more on that later.

 

McCann wasn’t penalised in our rankings for the loss but clearly has to do something to arrest his side’s stuttering home form of late. Overall, however, it appears McCann is doing a good job at Dundee – he’s now joint-third in our power rankings.

 

Murty overtakes Lennon

 

Rangers hosted Hearts on Saturday afternoon and ran out 2-0 winners but in truth, it could have been far more than that. The home side had 24 shots compared to Hearts’ five – loanees Jamie Murphy and Russell Martin both got on the scoresheet for the Gers.

 

 

Unsurprisingly, Rangers were the bookies’ favourites before the clash so Graeme Murty gains a solitary point in our rankings, overtaking Neil Lennon in the process. Murty will hope to continue to build momentum with a win over St Johnstone when the two sides meet on Tuesday evening.

 

Levein wasn’t docked any points for the defeat but continues to prop up the rest in twelfth spot in our power rankings. In the Premiership, only three points separate Hearts and seventh-placed Motherwell. If results don’t pick up soon, Hearts could easily fall into the bottom half of the league.

 

Canning records overdue win

 

Accies left it late on Saturday when they faced Partick Thistle but David Templeton grabbed a dramatic winner for the home side in stoppage-time Hamilton’s first league win in 2018. Conor Sammon gave the Jags an early lead from the penalty spot but his goal was cancelled out moments later by Antonio Rojano’s header.

 

Accies boss Martin Canning swaps positions with Archibald in our rankings and now finds himself in second place with +17. The 36-year-old, however, has two games in hand over the majority of the other managers; win them and he could pull away from the pack, lose and he’ll be dragged into the thick of it.

 

 

Archibald lost three points for the defeat – leaving him with +13 – but the Thistle boss will be frustrated that his side have slipped to eleventh in the Premiership, in the relegation playoff zone. Their next fixture against Ross County on Saturday looks to be pivotal for both sides – Archibald will hope Conor Sammon can keep up his impressive run of form of late.

 

Wright builds on Parkhead performance

 

St Johnstone picked up an important 2-0 win over Ross County at McDiarmid Park on Saturday afternoon – their first win there since September of last year. A brace from Murray Davidson – alongside Craig Curren’s dismissal sealed the win for the Saints.

 

Tommy Wright was expected to win the match so gains a single point in our manager power rankings, moving level with Derek McInnes on +7. Like Canning, Wright too has a couple of games in hand over his rivals – a couple of wins could go a long way for the Northern Irishman.

 

Owen Coyle’s County remain in twelfth in the Premiership but will have a chance to move off the bottom when they host Partick Thistle on Saturday. As it stands, Coyle is level with Wright and McInnes with +7 also.

 

 

Clarke pulls further away

 

In the game of the weekend, Hibs flew into an early lead at Rugby Park, finding themselves 2-0 up after nine minutes after goals from Florian Kamberi and Ryan Porteous. Kilmarnock then produced a spirited second-half performance to seize a point; Jordan Jones scored a magnificent goal before Kris Boyd followed up his saved penalty. During the madness, Lennon found himself sent to the stand for complaining too vigorously about Killie’s penalty.

 

Hibs were the pre-match favourites so Lennon loses two points on this occasion, slipping back into the negatives with -1. Next up, Hibernian host Hamilton on Wednesday evening – Lennon will expect his side to bounce back and collect all three points.

 

Kilmarnock made it five games unbeaten in all competitions with Boyd’s equaliser and Steve Clarke was rewarded with another two points in our rankings, giving him a massive haul of +30. The 54-year-old is still to really put a foot wrong in the Kilmarnock dugout.

 

Rodgers level with Lennon

 

Celtic travelled to Pittodrie for the last of the weekend’s Premiership action and finished the match as comfortable winners. Moussa Dembele gave the Hoops a first-half lead before both sides had a man sent off – Sam Cosgrove for Aberdeen, Mikael Lustig for the visitors. Kieran Tierney then wrapped the game up with around ten minutes to go.

 

 

McInnes didn’t lose any points in our rankings as the Dons were expected to lose, although better results are required if he’s to move away from Coyle and Wright. A tricky trip to Fir Park against a sort-of resurgent Motherwell awaits midweek: McInnes will have to organise his team well if they’re to leave with a win.

 

Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, gains another point. The 45-year-old is now tied on -1 with his compatriot Lennon, but will be pleased at maintaining their nine-point gap over Rangers in the Premiership. On Wednesday night, they host Dundee looking for a third consecutive clean sheet.

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