There were only three rounds of games in the Premiership last month but the league…
January was a relatively quiet month in the Scottish Premiership, aside from the usual transfer madness of course. In terms of league fixtures, most teams only played two or three games.
With that in mind, we’ve chosen to decide our January Manager of the Month including Scottish Cup matches as well as league fixtures. Some of the numbers here might differ slightly to our usual power rankings – this is just a reflection of a team’s Cup results, and will not be included in our regular manager power rankings.
So with extra points available for the Premiership’s bosses, let’s take a look at who’s fared best during January. As the table below demonstrates, there are three managers in particular who have caught the eye last month.
Motherwell have struggles for consistent form ever since their League Cup final defeat against Celtic back in November but Stephen Robinson appears to be getting things back on track at Fir Park.
January saw Robinson’s side overcome their rivals in the Cup, beat Ross County in the league and get a last-gasp equaliser at Tynecastle. Motherwell lost away at Easter Road at the end of the month but all in all it’s been a pretty good month for Robinson. The signing of Curtis Main to replace Louis Moult looks an especially astute piece of business from Robinson.
The Northern Irishman had an overall gain of four points for his work in January, leaving him in a three-way tie at the top of our January rankings. Despite their stuttering form the Steelmen are still in the top half of the Premiership – Robinson will be hoping his new recruits can help them pull away from Kilmarnock in seventh.
Partick Thistle’s transfer window was relatively low-key but the Jags continue to show signs of life at the bottom end of the table. Alan Archibald’s side are notoriously slow-starters in the league but form seems to be gradually progressing, particularly at Firhill.
Archibald guided his side through a tricky Cup fixture away to Queen of the South, although a well-contested home defeat to Celtic followed. Thistle finished the month with their first away Premiership win this season, leaving McDiarmid Park as 3-1 winners.
Like the others highlighted, Archibald accrued four points in our rankings in January and faces an unenviable trip to Celtic Park in the Scottish Cup tomorrow. Later in the month, fixtures against Dundee, Accies and County could prove season-defining; three wins, and the Jags could significantly stretch their four-point lead over Ross County.
The Celtic boss has his gaze firmly set on back-to-back trebles with the Hoops and his side’s results in January took him one step closer to realising his ambition. The month began with a 5-0 hammering of Brechin City in the Cup, before overcoming Thistle, Hearts and Hibs in the league. The win over Neil Lennon’s Hibs was especially cagey, but the Hoops still left with all three points.
Brendan Rodgers had a gain of +4 during January, tying with Archibald and Robinson. Choosing a winner, then, isn’t straightforward but on this occasion it’s Rodgers who deserves our Manager of the Month crown.
The wins over Thistle and Hibs were good results in challenging circumstances, while swatting aside Hearts is no mean feat these days. Robinson has previously won the award – this time, it’s Rodgers who deserves the credit.