Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander insists Robbie Neilson deserves to win Scotland’s Manager of the Year award for a record-breaking first season in the job.
The Edinburgh club achieved automatic promotion back to the Scottish Premiership with seven games to spare and have set a new points total for the second tier.
Alexander, who doubles as goalkeeping coach at Hearts, feels Neilson’s dedication and attention to detail set him apart from other candidates Ronny Deila, John Hughes and Derek McInnes.
“There’s only one for me – Robbie Neilson,” he said. “I’m biased but I see the work and dedication, the fine details he puts into facing every team and player.
“I know he’s in there morning to night, he’s always football, he never switches off.
“To win the league in 29 games is phenomenal in itself and so is breaking the highest points ever in the second tier in Scotland. So is scoring the amount of goals we have this season (94). We might not get 100 but we got pretty close, so he deserves it.
“Okay, Ronny Deila getting the double would be a fantastic season, and John Hughes has had a great season at Inverness. Derek McInnes has done phenomenal to have Aberdeen still competing with Celtic.
“But for me, Robbie Neilson is head and shoulders above, especially for a young manager in his first season.
“I’ve worked so closely and it’s opened my eyes just how much he does. He does things I never even thought about when I was a player.
“To see him working every day, I have so much admiration for him. He’s done a phenomenal job.
“Even if he doesn’t win, he is still a winner in my eyes.”