Neil Lennon believes the Scottish game is on the up thanks to the quality of manager north of the border.
The Hibs boss himself has received plenty of plaudits for steering the Easter Road club not only into the top six in their first season back in the Ladbrokes Premiership but also for being involved in a three way fight with Rangers and Aberdeen for second place.
As such Lennon is clearly one of the candidates to be named as manager of the year and although he revealed his own nomination will probably go to Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers, he insisted there were plenty more names in the frame.
He said: ““The calibre of managers is very high and that’s why I think the league is getting better – but we are still trying to catch on to the coat-tails of Celtic.
“Brendan is on the cusp of another treble and Celtic have only lost two games in two years. The pressure he is under, the style of football they play and the mentality they show is unbelievable.”
Lennon, who will be looking to delay Celtic’s title party when they face Hibs in the Capital today accepted some might point to Rodger’s record in Europe but highlighted the fact the Hoops were still involved at that level after Christmas.
However, Lennon was adamant others should come into contention when it comes to naming this season’s top boss, most notably Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke who has overseen a remarkable renaissance at Rugby Park to the extent the Ayrshire club are very much on the heels of Hibs.
Aberdeen’s Derek McInnes is another on Lennon’s list despite the Dons’ embarrassing Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Motherwell, a result which took the Fir Park outfit to their second cup final of the season.
As such Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson will feature highly when the award is decided, Lennon saying of his fellow Northern Irishman: “I am a big fan of him.”
But outside the top flight Lennon insisted the efforts of Jack Ross who has guided St Mirren back into the Premiership and Livingston’s David Hopkin can’t be ignored.
He said: “The turnaround at St Mirren under Jack has been remarkable while David has done an incredible job on the budget he is on at Livingston, winning promotion [from League One] and then into second place in the Championship.”