Who should be the next manager for Ross County then?
John Hughes and the club he kept in the Premiership have parted ways and until either party speaks, it’s speculation as to who made that call.
Managerial merry-go-round in full spin
Across the Kessock Bridge, Caley Thistle are looking for a new boss and there are a number of managers’ jobs up for grabs now.
Micky Mellon is leaving Dundee United. Celtic have not yet replaced Neil Lennon, while Eddie Howe apparently gets his backroom team together to go there and down at Dumbarton Jim Duffy has gone too.
✍️ Club News
John Hughes departs Ross County Football Club.
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) May 24, 2021
Barry Ferguson, just a day after leading Lowland League champions Kelty Hearts into League Two, has also departed his job.
Plenty of names in the frame for County
Who are the contenders to come in at Dingwall?
Let’s look at some of the names in the frame that chairman Roy MacGregor might be considering:
Malky Mackay: As we got into Tuesday afternoon, Malky Mackay, the former Scottish FA performance director, was the clear front-runner with mcbookie.com. Smart money this morning made this happen. He stepped down from his role at Hampden in November after four years in post. The former Watford manager led Cardiff City into the English Premier League. In August 2014, it was reported Mackay sent texts of a racist, sexist and homophobic nature during his time at Cardiff. Was the Wigan manager for 138 days before being sacked in April 2015.
Don Cowie: Current first-team coach, alongside Richard Brittain, is a big fans’ favourite. Both these supreme midfielders are legends at the club, but would MacGregor go for those types again having rolled the dice with Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson.
Alex Neil: Led Hamilton and Norwich into the top-flights of Scotland and England and highly respected. He was sacked by Norwich after they fell back down to the Championship and were struggling to make the play-offs. Has been at Preston North End over the past four years but was axed two months ago with the side 16th in the Championship.
Gary Holt: Returned to Falkirk as the League One side’s sporting director, having left Livingston last November. He took over on an interim basis after Falkirk sacked David McCracken and Lee Miller, but this season imploded and the Bairn dropped from title favourites to missing out on the play-offs. He did lead the Livi Lions to fifth spot in the Premiership.
Derek Adams: Could two-times County manager Adams return once more? It does seem unlikely as the Morecambe boss is in the League Two play-off final at Wembley on Monday against Newport. He guided County in the SPL in 2011-12, two years after taking them into the Scottish Cup final. He’s been linked to the vacancy at Bradford City and events on Monday might well determine his next move.
Stephen Robinson: The Northern Irishman took over from Mark McGhee at Motherwell in 2017, moving from assistant to permanent manager. Over a three-year period, led the Steel Men to two cup finals, losing both to Celtic. In a season shortened by Covid-19 last year, he guided them to third spot, but quit Fir Park last December with the club third from bottom in the Premiership.
Stewart Petrie: The Montrose boss is raising eyebrows at Links Park and he finished his senior playing career with County in Dingwall in 2008. The 51-year-old, who has mainly been as assistant manager, led Montrose to the League Two title in 2018. Took the Gable Endies in the promotion play-offs this year when they were edged out by Gus MacPherson’s Morton, who ultimately stayed in the Championship.
John Kennedy: The man who has been in charge of Celtic since Neil Lennon left earlier this season is a high-rated coach. Looking beyond the obvious disappointment of being part of that Lennon-led coaching staff which couldn’t stop resurgent Rangers, he’s been a part of the group that helped the club win an historic nine-in-a-row. He’s been at Parkhead for 22 years and might be ready to prove his worth outside the east end of Glasgow.
Derek McInnes: The boss who was sacked by Aberdeen in March guided the Dons to the League Cup in 2014 and consistently had the club in the top four. Hindered by the loss of key players, Aberdeen struggled to score or win and he paid the price. However, the club are in a far better position than when he took over more than eight years ago. He’ll probably fancy a crack back in England after losing his job under trying circumstances at Bristol City. His managerial career began by taking St Johnstone back into the top league. He has been linked to the West Brom job.
JOHN HUGHES LEAVES @RossCounty 🦌
🔵Does surprise exit mean Tannadice move? How have Staggies fans reacted?
🔵Where do County look now in bid for progress – Don Cowie? John Kennedy? Stephen Robinson?
— P&J Sport (@PandJSport) May 25, 2021