Manager power rankings: week 7

Manager power rankings: week 7

By James Cairney

With international football scheduled for next weekend, the Scottish Premiership went out with a bang before the next round of fixtures in two weeks’ time.


Steven Gerrard suffered his first defeat as Rangers manager during Sunday’s Old Firm as his team lost 1-0, Gary Holt made it back-to-back wins for Livingston by stunning Hibs at home while at Pittodrie, Steve Clarke guided Kilmarnock to victory over Aberdeen for the first time in 21 attempts after Mikey Devlin’s early dismissal.


There’s been the usual chopping and changing in our Premiership manager power rankings, with the latest standings displayed below.



Broadening our scope, this year we’re tracking managers’ performances all competitions – our scoring system is available here for those who are unfamiliar with it – and the updated manager rankings can be seen below. Take a look to see how your team’s coach is faring compared to the rest of the league.



McCann falls further behind


Dundee’s poor start to the season is showing little sign of improvement as the Dark Blues fell to another defeat, leaving them on zero points after four Premiership games played. Neil McCann’s side fell behind early in the second half to a soft Danny Johnson goal before Gael Bigirimana’s free kick doubled Motherwell’ advantage. Benjamin Kallman pulled one back for the hosts, only for Allan Campbell to seal the win with his team’s third with a few minutes to go.


Motherwell were the bookies’ favourites before kick off so Stephen Robinson was rewarded with a single point in our rankings. The 43-year-old has now moved level with St Mirren’s Alan Stubbs on +1 – quite the turnaround for the pair that were separated by eight points just four matchdays ago.


McCann is still waiting for his team to pick up their first Premiership points of the season and a similarly underwhelming League Cup campaign has cost the Dundee boss in our rankings at this early stage of the season. Worryingly for McCann, the gap is growing, too: there’s now five points between the ex-Rangers midfielder and Martin Canning in eleventh place.


Gerrard stays in fourth


The weekend’s most anticipated fixture was of course the Old Firm as Steven Gerrard sought to get the better of his former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. Celtic dominated the match and walked out as 1-0 winners, even if there was some controversy surrounding Tom Rogic’s contribution to Olivier Ntcham’s decisive goal.



Celtic were expected to win the famous derby so Rodgers gains a point in our rankings, as he did on Thursday night after the Hoops’ 3-0 win over FK Suduva in the final qualifying round of the Europa League. The Celtic boss now has a positive score of +1 and is gaining ground on Gerrard, who’s now just two points ahead.


The defeat cost the Rangers coach a point, leaving Gerrard with an overall tally of +3. Derek McInnes has now dropped below the 38-year-old in our rankings across all competitions, with Livingston’s Gary Holt moving in the opposite direction and overtaking Gerrard after a fine start to his career at the newly-promoted club. The Gers will be able to bounce back from their Old Firm defeat when they host Dundee in their next fixture.


Hearts maintain 100% record


Few would have predicted that Hearts would be top of the Premiership with four wins on the bounce by the first international break but that’s precisely what the Jambos have achieved in a blistering start to the campaign. With Craig Levein still recuperating, assistant manager Austin McPhee took charge for the weekend’s match against St Mirren and will be pleased with both the result and the 4-1 scoreline.


Levein may not have been at the game but the former Scotland boss still picked the team and gave McPhee instructions, so we’ll still give out any points to him. The Hearts boss gained one for the result, maintaining a four point gap at the summit of our rankings. It’s been a fantastic start to the season for the Edinburgh club and Levein has hardly put a foot wrong.


Things aren’t quite as rosy in Paisley though. A strong start to the season saw Stubbs shoot up our power rankings and lead the way from the outset, but a series of four consecutive defeats has cost the Buddies boss. Stubbs still has a positive score of +1, indicating he’s performing slightly better than he could reasonably be expected to, but the ex-Hibs manager will surely be concerned with his side’s alarming form.


Holt moves into third


Hibernian made the short trip to Livingston on Saturday afternoon expecting to leave with all three points and took the lead through Daryl Horgan’s strike early in the second half. Livi responded in the perfect manner, first equalising through Shaun Byrne before Scott Pittman grabbed the winner with around 20 minutes left to play.



Gary Holt has only been at Livingston for a less than a fortnight but has wasted no time in picking up on last season’s success. The Lions have now won three games on the bounce in all competitions and Holt is sitting pretty in third spot in our rankings with +6, after gaining three points for an unexpected win for the second successive week.


Neil Lennon, meanwhile, was docked three points for the defeat and has fallen to tenth place with a score of -1. The Hibs boss enjoyed a good start to the season with some promising results in Europe but are without a league win since the opening round of fixtures. Lennon will be looking to get his team back on track when they host Kilmarnock after the international break.


Clarke moves level with Rodgers


Kilmarnock travelled to Pittodrie on Saturday looking to put an end to their poor form against the Dons in recent years and were given a boost after Mikey Devlin was sent off just five minute into the game. Eamonn Brophy gave the visitors the lead with a free kick before Greg Stewart scored a wonderful solo goal against his former teammates to seal the win.


Steve Clarke gained three points in our manager power rankings as Aberdeen were the bookies’ favourites, lifting him out of the negative scores and level with the likes of Rodgers on +1 around the middle of the table. Clarke will be delighted with his team’s performance, as after an inconsistent start Killie look to have rediscovered their impressive form from last season.


Derek McInnes lost three points, undoing Aberdeen’s promising start to the season and leaving the 47-year-old on +2 overall. The Dons boss remains narrowly ahead of Clarke and Rodgers but should Aberdeen slip up away to St Johnstone in their next fixture, McInnes could find himself slipping further down the table.


Canning continues to struggle


It’s been a difficult start to the season for Hamilton Accies. Already out of the League Cup and with two defeats from their opening three games, Martin Canning’s side hosted St Johnstone on Saturday afternoon hoping to get something from the game. It wasn’t to be as goals from Blair Alston and David McMillan gave the Saints a two-goal cushion before Rakish Bingham pulled one back for Accies but it was too little, too late.



Hamilton were expected to lose the match so Canning only lost one point in our rankings, leaving him with a score of -2. The Hamilton boss is yet to register a positive score in our table this season – Canning will need to do better if Accies are to stave off the drop once again.


Conversely, Tommy Wright is enjoying a good start to the season with his new-look Saints and lies in second place overall with +7. There’s still a four point gap to bridge between the Northern Irishman and Levein in first but a win over Aberdeen in St Johnstone’s next game could be enough to propel Wright into first place.

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