Kilmarnock have enjoyed a tremendous turnaround in fortune since Steve Clarke took over the reins at the Ayrshire club.
The former Chelsea defender, who enjoyed spells in charge of West Brom and Reading, has used his extensive contacts to bring quality to the Ayrshire club and his years of experience in coaching to improve what was already there.
The core of the team is still the one he inherited from Lee McCulloch, which sat bottom of the table on three points when he agreed to become the club’s manager.
While his first game in charge didn’t officially come until a 1-1 draw at Ibrox on 25 October, he was announced as the new boss before a trip to Partick Thistle on 14 October.
Though he didn’t take the team that day, he did speak to the squad in the dressing room beforehand and there’s no doubt the players would have received a lift from his presence.
Since then they’ve taken an impressive 49 points from 24 games and have reeled off five wins in a row, becoming the only team in the top flight to put together such a sequence this season.
Had the season started with Clarke’s introduction, Kilmarnock would be in second place in the league table and in a title challenge with Celtic.
The Ayrshire side would be six points behind Brendan Rodgers’ men with a game in hand, one point ahead of third place Rangers.
Across the past 20 fixtures in the league, no team has taken more points than Kilmarnock, who sit proudly atop that particular form table.
Clarke himself also has the distinction of being the first manager this millennium to win three successive manager of the month awards.