13 February 2023

Jack Ross, Jim Goodwin or Neil Lennon – who can take over at Motherwell?

13 February 2023

Following the sacking of Steven Hammell after Saturday’s Scottish Cup defeat by Raith Rovers, relegation-threatened Motherwell are looking for a new manager.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at some of the candidates who may be given consideration by the Fir Park hierarchy.

Jack Ross

As recently as the start of this season, 46-year-old Ross would have been viewed as a standout candidate for the role. He started his managerial career strongly with Alloa and then St Mirren before landing the Sunderland job, where he paid the price for missing out on promotion to the Championship. Ross had a largely fruitful spell in charge of Hibernian in which he led them to a rare third-place finish in the Premiership as well as two cup finals before losing his job after a poor start to the 2021/22 campaign. He had a disastrous two-month stint in charge of Dundee United at the beginning of this term which featured a 7-0 defeat by AZ Alkmaar and a 9-0 thrashing at home to Celtic.

Jim Goodwin

Similar to Ross, the 41-year-old Goodwin has generally had a positive managerial career but may be undermined by memories of his most recent exploits. Like Ross, he shone in charge of Alloa and then St Mirren before landing the Aberdeen job a year ago. Things looked to be going well for the Irishman before the World Cup as he had the Dons in third place, but he was sacked at the end of last month following a horror run which culminated in heavy defeats away to Hearts and Hibernian either side of a Scottish Cup humbling by sixth-tier Darvel.

Owen Coyle

The 56-year-old had a successful two-year playing stint at Fir Park in the late 1990s and is currently in charge of a Queen’s Park side that are a point clear at the top of the cinch Championship and eyeing promotion to the top flight. Coyle has a wealth of managerial experience in Scotland, England and abroad and was seen as one of the most burgeoning bosses in the UK while in charge of Burnley a little over a decade ago.

Tommy Wright

The 59-year-old Northern Irishman has spent his entire managerial career in charge of similar-sized clubs to Motherwell, with a successful seven-year reign at St Johnstone followed by a not-so-fruitful stint at Kilmarnock. Generally deemed to be adept at making sure his teams are organised although the fact he was relegated with Killie after taking over two years ago this month when they were in a similar position to where Motherwell are now could count against him.

Neil Lennon

His career seems to be on a downward spiral at present but the 51-year-old remains one of the most decorated modern-day managers within Scottish football following two trophy-laden spells in charge of Celtic. Between his two periods at Parkhead, he had a difficult time in charge of Bolton and an exhilarating, largely progressive stint at Hibernian which eventually ended on a downer. Since his second Celtic tenure unravelled in grim fashion two years ago, Lennon had a short spell in Cyprus with Omonia which ended in October.

Stuart Kettlewell

Not necessarily a standout contender on paper, but as caretaker manager Kettlewell is the man currently in possession of the role and with a chance to make an impression. The 38-year-old had a spell as Ross County boss that ended just over two years ago with the Staggies at the foot of the Premiership and he has most recently been working as a youth coach at Fir Park.

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