Ross County boss Malky Mackay is in the running to land the William Hill Scottish Football Writers’ Association manager of the year prize.
The 50-year-old will be up against Scotland manager Steve Clarke, Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou, Hearts’ Robbie Neilson and Arbroath’s Dick Campbell. Last year’s winner was Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, who is now at the helm of Aston Villa.
Mackay, who replaced John Hughes at the Dingwall club last summer, led an overhaul with a squad more or less starting from scratch after the side beat the drop from the Premiership.
After a 10-match winless start, the Staggies have soared into fifth position, with now just four games to go.
European target for Malky Mackay
It means the Highlanders are firmly in the hunt to qualify for European competition for the first time, with fourth-placed Dundee United only one point in front of them.
Mackay, who led Cardiff City into the English Premier League and a League Cup final, has also bossed Watford and Wigan and impressed in his role of Scottish FA performance director.
Clarke guided Scotland into the Euro 2020 finals last summer, which was the country’s first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.
And the focus is on the World Cup qualifying semi-final against Ukraine on June 1 then a potential final in Wales in the bid to reach Qatar.
Postecoglou, whose league leaders beat County 2-0 in Dingwall on Sunday, has already delivered the League Cup and has a six-point advantage over Rangers ahead of this weekend’s Parkhead showdown.
Maroons on the march in third spot
Neilson has transformed Hearts from Championship winners into the clear third-best team. Not only are they 19 points better off than fourth-place Dundee United, but they face Rangers in next month’s Scottish Cup final.
Campbell has guided his part-timers Arbroath into the runners-up place in the Championship and would have topped the table going into Friday’s final fixtures had they not lost 2-1 at Kilmarnock last week.
They do, however, have a chance to make the step up via the play-offs, with Caley Thistle a potential semi-final opponent.
The award will be presented on May 8.