We’re almost halfway through the season now and the Premiership is taking shape nicely; at…
It’s Manager of the Month time again. December was a hectic month in the Scottish Premiership, with some teams playing as many as eight fixtures. Now, as we cast our minds back over the month, one question springs to mind – which manager had the best month?
Using our manager power rankings data, we’ve highlighted three managers who’ve made the most of the busy Christmas schedule. The results are below.
Kilmarnock started the month just a point off the foot of the Premiership table but a successful December has seen them rise to sixth place. Steve Clarke oversaw a 5-1 hammering of Partick Thistle, an away win at McDiarmid Park and, of course, a 2-1 home win over Rangers, amongst others. Clarke amassed +12 points in our rankings over this period and as such is crowned our December Manager of the Month.
Killie’s turnaround in fortunes since Clarke’s appointment has been startling as they continue to go from strength to strength. Two months ago, the idea of Kilmarnock overtaking the likes of Motherwell in the league was unthinkable: Clarke deserves a great deal of credit for reviving their season.
Next up, Kilmarnock host Ross County in the Scottish Cup before facing a difficult trip to Pittodrie later in the month. A tricky game, sure, and Aberdeen will surely be the bookies’ favourites – but don’t be surprised if Clarke continues his impressive habit of earning points away from home.
Dundee continue to struggle for consistency this season but Neil McCann can be proud of his side’s efforts in December. Wins over Ross County, Thistle and St Johnstone have kept them out of the relegation zone, despite defeats to Celtic and Aberdeen. Like Clarke, McCann gained +12 in our rankings in December but misses out on his second Manager of the Month as Dundee played one more match than Kilmarnock.
McCann’s next game sees Dundee face Inverness in the cup before finishing off January with trips to Hamilton and Kilmarnock. At times this season, Dundee have played brilliantly – a little more consistency and they can surely pull away from the relegation dogfight.
St Johnstone enjoyed a decent December; Tommy Wright picked up away wins against Accies and Rangers, and respectable draws against Hearts and Ross County. The Northern Irishman was rewarded with a +4 gain in our rankings and sneaks into third place for December.
Going forward, Wright will have to bring in some extra firepower to improve the Saints, especially with the imminent departures of Michael O’Halloran and Graham Cummins. St Johnstone will begin their Scottish Cup campaign away to Albion Rovers later this month before hosting Hamilton and Thistle in the Premiership. Wright will need to add to his forwards if they are to avoid slipping further down the table.