Partick Thistle chief Ian Maxwell insists pound-for-pound, Firhill boss Alan Archibald is Scotland’s manager of the year.
Treble-chasing Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is the clear favourite to land the award following a so-far undefeated domestic campaign.
But Jags general manager Maxwell reckons Archibald’s candidacy should not be ruled out just yet.
Thistle head to Ibrox for Saturday’s clash with Rangers safe in the knowledge they have avoided a relegation scrap after securing their first-ever Ladbrokes Premiership top-six finish.
They are guaranteed to end the campaign having achieved their best league performance in 26 years and could even match their 1977 feat of finishing fifth if they can overhaul Hearts’ three-point lead in the six games before the end of the season.
All that has been made possible despite having the top-flight’s second smallest budget, which is why Maxwell is leading the debate on his boss’ behalf.
“I think there’s absolutely no doubt that Archie is a legitimate candidate for manager of the year,” said the former Thistle defender.
“Obviously Brendan Rodgers has the chance to win a treble with Celtic, which would be a great achievement.
“But if you look at things in perspective, for Archie to get us where we now are and the way it happened - with us being bottom of the league in December but then go on the run we’ve been on - then I think we can definitely say we’ve got our money’s worth out of our manager.
“I think you could even make the argument he’s a stronger candidate than Brendan.
“Based on resources, he’s done arguably better because Celtic, with the best will in the world, are in a position where they should be winning the league.
“Obviously winning the treble would be a fantastic achievement and I’d never take anything away from that.
“But for Alan to keep doing what he’s been doing year in, year out, with what we give him - then you have to say he’s done incredibly well.”