Celtic's Neil Lennon on PFA Scotland manager of year list


Celtic's Neil Lennon has made the PFA Scotland manager of the year shortlist along with Terry Butcher, Stuart McCall and Allan Johnston.

Lennon had been critical of the absence of players from Scotland's champions on the player of the year shortlist .

But Lennon is in the top four chosen by his peers in the four divisions.

McCall's Motherwell lie second in the top flight, Butcher's Inverness are third and Johnston's Queen of the South won Division Two at a canter.

This was the closest-run contest we have ever had

Fraser Wishart PFA Scotland chief executive

Lennon and several of his players had spoken of their disbelief that nobody from the team chasing a league and Scottish Cup double was among the top four chosen by professional footballers across the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League.

The managers on the shortlist were among the five picked out for praise by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan , who also had a vote, when announcing the opening of nominations last week.

Derek Adams, who has led Ross County to a top-six finish in the Dingwall club's first season in the top flight, is the only absentee from Strachan's suggestions.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist, whose side won Division Three in their first season in the bottom tier, and Alan Archibald, who led Partick Thistle to the Division One title after the late-season departure of Jackie McNamara to Dundee United, also miss out.

Inverness CT manager Terry Butcher

Butcher's rebuilt Caley Thistle are third and chasing a Europa League place

PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart said: "Having counted the votes, these are the top four as far as the current managers across the SPL and SFL are concerned.

"Each manager was asked to vote for the best across all divisions.

"This was the closest-run contest we have ever had.

"It speaks volumes about the quality of managers we have in our game in Scotland and, in fact, there are a few more managers who I am sure could also lay claim to the title.

"All four nominees have had outstanding seasons and thoroughly deserve the accolade of being voted the best by their peers."

The winners of both the managers and player awards will be announced at a dinner in Glasgow's Hilton Hotel on Sunday 5 May.

Lennon's Celtic have already wrapped up the SPL title, will face Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final and reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

McCall's Motherwell are nine points clear in second place and qualified for next season's Europa League after Sunday's 3-1 win over the champions .

Butcher rebuilt his side after a number of summer departures and a fine second half to the season has them sitting third and in prime position for a place in the Europa League.

Johnston's Queens were the first side in Scotland to win a league title, are 25 points ahead of second-placed Alloa Athletic and won the Ramsdens Cup by beating Division One champions Thistle in the final.