How are Scottish managers in the Football League faring?

Alex Neil, Norwich City manager. Picture; Getty

Alex Neil, Norwich City manager. Picture; Getty

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With the continual focus on the English Premier League and the SPFL, it can often be difficult to follow any other football at all.

Recently, a Scottish manager has grabbed all the headlines down South, with Jackie McNamara going from York City manager to caretaker boss and chief executive in the space of a week.

Jackie McNamara and Plymouth Argyle's Derek Adams in a game last season.

Jackie McNamara and Plymouth Argyle's Derek Adams in a game last season.

While York are not based in the English Football League, there are a host of Scots working in the lower divisions making headlines for the right reasons.

We take a look at the start of the season for Scottish managers and analyse who could have more to celebrate and who could be on their way out.

Alex Neil (Norwich City- Championship)

Many in Scotland have predicted great things for Alex Neil, and it is fair to say that at a relatively young age, he is a manager for the future. Indeed, when Alex packed his bags after doing a wonderful job at Hamilton, the Scottish media took great delight in informing their English colleagues of just how far Neil could take Norwich. it’s fair to say it’s been a relatively mixed start for the Scot. Having secured promotion via the playoffs in his first six months, Norwich then were relgated. However, having kept faith with the manager, they are now reaping the rewards, sitting second in the Championship. Norwich currently have 27 points from a possible 39 and sit one place behind league-leaders, Newcastle.

Stuart McCall on Scotland duty. Picture; Greg Macvean

Stuart McCall on Scotland duty. Picture; Greg Macvean

Gary Caldwell (Wigan Athletic- Championship)

Former Scotland international, Gary Caldwell, ended his playing career at Wigan and quickly took them to promotion from League One in his first season, however, it hasn’t been the best start for the former-Celtic man, with his side sitting 21st in the Championship. However, Wigan have been putting in decent performances but it is their lack of firepower (despite Will Grigg) that is causing most of their problems. With such a tight league table and just nine points between 6th and 21st, Caldwell will be confident his side can turn it around.

Graham Alexander (Scunthorpe United- League One)

The Iron have made an exceptionally strong start to the season under Graham Alexander in his first full season in charge having only taken over in March 2016. Scunthorpe are three points ahead of their nearest promotion rivals and went on a nine-match unbeaten run. Josh Morris has scored a whopping 13 goals so far for the League One side. While the league remains tight, if Scunthorpe can keep their early momentum going then they could be serious contenders for promotion and perhaps the title.

Stuart McCall (Bradford City- League One)

Perhaps typically of a Stuart McCall side, Bradford have build up a good head of steam with solid defensive displays. Indeed, their top scorer only has four goals to his name! They sit in second place, three points behind Scunthorpe, who also have a significantly better goal difference. McCall has only been in the job for just over 100 days, but he has certainly added to the side and build a strong team unit. With 25 points from 42 and only Graham Alexander’s side above, we wonder what the odds are on a Scot winning League one this season?

Derek Adams (Plymouth Argyle- League Two)

When it comes to building a smart, quick, effective team, there are few better than Derek Adams. Following his success at Ross County, the Scottish media once again took pleasure in informing their English counterparts about how far Adams could take Argyle. It has been a difficult few years for Argyle with back-to-back relegations, administration and players being unable to be paid in the last five years. However, it seems that the turbulent times in the West Country are over and under Adams, the Pilgrims are flying. Top of League 2, three points ahead of Doncaster, Plymouth have went on a 12-game unbeaten run, with Graham Carey proving to be the key player for the outfit. Adams will need to be wary however, as the season has started out exceptionally similar to that of last season which saw the Pilgrims top as Christmas before slumping to 5th in the league and losing out in a playoff final heartbreak defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

Darren Ferguson (Doncaster Rovers- League 2)

It seems that Scottish managers have got the lower leagues mastered with two Scottish managers sitting at first and second in both League One and League Two. Darren Ferguson has made his mark already at Doncaster just over a year into the job. His side sit second in League 2 and are putting together some fine results as they sit just three points off leaders Plyouth Argyle. An injury to top scorer Andy Williams, who could be out for up to ten weeks, could prove a real test for Ferguson.

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