Our Scottish Premiership November Manager of the Month

Our Scottish Premiership November Manager of the Month

By James Cairney

There were only three rounds of games in the Premiership last month but the league still delivered some fascinating talking points. Rangers suffered back-to-back defeats against Hamilton and Dundee, Motherwell came within minutes of beating Celtic and Hearts finally returned to Tynecastle, albeit rather lamely.

 

But out of the league’s twelve managers, who had the best time in November? Using our power rankings, we can see which manager accrued the most points last month and thus crown our November manager of the month. The results are below.

 

 

Martin Canning

 

It’s been quite a month for Accies boss Martin Canning. Hamilton started the month with a 2-2 draw at home with Aberdeen then followed that up with a 2-0 win at Ibrox: the first time Accies had won a league fixture there since 1926. A respectable point at home to Hibs rounded off the month for Accies. Canning will be delighted to have faced three of the league’s most dangerous teams and remained unbeaten against them.

 

For the three results, Canning picked up seven points in our rankings and briefly occupied top spot until Motherwell’s draw with Celtic returned Stephen Robinson to the summit. Hamilton were second-favourites for each encounter, so Canning was able to make significant gains in every match – two for each draw, and three points for the win over Rangers.

 

 

Accies currently find themselves in eighth place in the Premiership, but only trail sixth-placed St Johnstone by two points. While we’d be getting ahead of ourselves to claim Canning could make the top six, if Accies continue in the same vein, it might not be beyond the realms of possibility.

 

Owen Coyle

 

Up in the Highlands, Owen Coyle is quietly improving Ross County. November began with a 3-2 win over Motherwell after they raced into a 3-0 half-time lead, followed by a difficult game against Celtic. A solid defensive display from Coyle’s men frustrated the visitors, who had to rely on a late Leigh Griffiths free kick to nick the win. A 0-0 draw at Tynecastle rounded off the month for the Dingwall side.

 

Coyle gained five points for his side’s efforts in November – three for the win over Motherwell and two for last Saturday’s stalemate. Like Canning, Coyle’s side were favourites to lose each game so the County boss was able to collect a healthy points total. The former Bolton manager wasn’t penalised for losing to Celtic, so avoided dropping any points in our rankings.

 

 

Ross County host Dundee in their next league match, but trips to Ibrox and Easter Road scheduled in December should provide a stern test for the Highlanders. Coyle has already proven he has the tactical nous to get something from these matches; if November’s form is anything to go by, the Staggies have a fighting chance.

 

Steve Clarke

 

Kilmarnock’s month started with a 2-1 win at Murrayfield, ensuring Hearts’ tenure there ended in defeat thanks to a late winner from Adam Frizzell. An away point against relegation rivals Dundee followed before falling to a 3-1 defeat at Rugby Park at the hands of Aberdeen. Since Steve Clarke’s arrival Kilmarnock’s away form has been excellent; however, improvement is required at home: Killie remain without a Rugby Park win this season.

 

 

Clarke gained three points in the power ranking for his victory over Hearts and picked up another two for drawing with Dundee – no points were deducted for the Aberdeen loss, but Clarke will have hoped for a better performance. Regardless, the 54-year-old has had a good month – only Canning gained more points in our rankings in November.

 

A tricky trip to Perth awaits Kilmarnock in their next fixture against a St Johnstone side that seem to have found their mojo again. A six-pointer against Thistle is on the horizon for Clarke too – a win here could put some daylight between the two sides, as well as ending the Rugby Park hoodoo that has taken over the team. New signing Yusuf Mulumbu could play a huge part in the club’s relegation scrap – if the former West Brom midfielder can hit the ground running as Clarke has, then Killie fans could be in for a treat.

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