The 2023/24 season in the Scottish Premiership has been ripe for manager sackings and the next departure on the list is Malky Mackay. The 51-year-old leaves Ross County after over two years at the club.
Mackay enjoyed success with Ross County in his first term at Victoria Park as the Staggies finished sixth but it has been downhill since then. After a run of eight winless league matches, with Ross County 11th in the standings, Mackay’s departure was announced on November 15.
Now, the club officials are tasked with finding the next Ross County manager as they need someone to keep them afloat in the Scottish Premiership.
List of Potential Next Ross County Manager
At the moment, there are no clear indications in the media regarding who will become the Ross County next manager. However, a look at the available options may reveal who the Dingwall club will target in the coming days.
Neil Lennon is a known figure among the Scottish Premiership fans thanks to his stints with Celtic and Hibernian. He has also worked outside of Scotland – at Bolton Wanderers and Omonia Nicosia – but that is beyond our interest.
Lennon began his managerial career with Celtic in 2010 and would stay with the Hoops for four years. In that period, he led Celtic to five trophies, including three league titles.
Between 2016 and 2019, the former Northern Ireland international coached Hibernian. He first assumed charge of the Hibees still in the second division and won promotion immediately. Lennon left Hibs on bad terms but his on-the-pitch results won him a second stint with Celtic. Back at the Park, the experienced manager won two more league titles with Celtic, as well as a Scottish Cup and a Scottish League Cup.
At the moment the 52-year-old works as a media pundit as he hasn’t held a coaching position since leaving Omonia Nicosia in 2022. As a result, Lennon regularly linked with any Scottish Premiership club that may require a new manager.
Certainly, most fans would like to see football legend Neil Warnock become the next Ross County manager. The 74-year-old expressed his desire to work in Scotland one day, and him saving the Staggies from relegation would make for a beautiful story.
It would take a whole book to relay all of Warnock’s managerial achievements. For the sake of brevity, we should remind the readers that the veteran holds the record for the most promotions won in English football (eight) and the most matches coached at the professional level (over 1,600). In the long span of his career, Warnock has coached 16 different clubs.
Warnock is available for instant hire. Huddersfield Town parted ways with the manager in September as they wanted to bring in someone for the long-term. In the farewell conference, the 74-year-old said that he was not putting an end to his career just yet, although there have been rumours that he wants to rest until the end of 2023.
Another manager who has been on the job market for a while is Callum Davidson. The former Scotland international left St Johnstone in April this year and is yet to find a new club.
Davidson started his coaching career as an assistant coach, working at St Johnstone, the Scottish national team, Stoke City, Dunfermline Athletic and Millwall. He made the move to senior management in 2020 when he was appointed by St Johnstone, which remains his only experience at this level to date.
The 47-year-old had an amazing debut season with the Saints, winning the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Cup in 2020/21. The following seasons were defined by St Johnstone battling relegation, so it wasn't too big of a shocker when his sacking was announced.
Davidson can’t compete with the previous names on the list in terms of experience, but he showed positive signs during his time at St Johnstone. If he can lead Ross County to safety in 2023/24, he has the potential to become a great long-term option for the Staggies.
Scott Brown is not the coach you want if the main requirement is experience. However, being one of the most decorated players in the history of Scottish Premiership and a former Scotland captain, the list of potential Ross County managers cannot go without him.
After a long and illustrious career, Brown made his first steps in coaching in 2021 when he joined Aberdeen in a player-coach role, assuming an assistant position. The next year, the 38-year-old retired and announced his intention to dedicate himself to full-time management.
Fleetwood Town in League One is the only inscription on Scott Brown’s CV. The Cods had a decent 2022/23 season, finishing 13th in the league and advancing far in the FA Cup. However, the Scottish gaffer was fired at the start of 2023/24 campaign after five losses and one draw in the opening matches.
As an emergency option, Brown may not be perfect for Ross County but his knowledge of the game and promising start with Fleetwood means that the Dingwall club cannot ignore him either.
Finally, Ross County may want to solve the question of the new manager internally and appoint Don Cowie. The 40-year-old has been an assistant manager under Malky Mackay and it is claimed that the club values him highly.
Cowie has a long history with Ross County as he graduated from their academy and started his professional career at Victoria Park in 2000. After spells at various clubs across Scotland and England, the midfielder returned to Ross County in 2018, where he would finish his career two years later.
Cowie became an assistant coach at Victoria Park immediately after retirement and has held that position for three years. Although it would be a risky adventure, it is nearly impossible to find another coach who knows the ins and outs of Ross County like Cowie does.