With the rumours circulating about who the next man in the hot seat will be, we take a look at the six names that have been mentioned the most and appear to be on the shortlist to succeed Gary Locke at Rugby Park.
First up is the caretaker boss himself, who guided the team to a solid defensive display at Ibrox last week. The man certainly has no shortage of top level playing experience, with both Wigan and Rangers on his resume. However, his managerial experience is rudimentary at best. Although he was the assistant manager for the first half of the season, his contribution to Locke’s managerial record isn’t exactly something to brag about. It seems to be that he didn’t really contribute anything to the team that had a huge impact and his appointment was met with some scrutiny in the first place. So overall, McCulloch probably isn’t the best man for the job but should do an OK as caretaker manager.
The man tipped from the word go, Billy Davies has been one of the favourites from the minute that Gary was sacked. This is mostly due to his extensive and varied playing and managerial career. Over a playing career spanning seventeen years, he plied his trade for clubs including Rangers, Elfsborg and Leicester City. Following this, he has managed clubs ever since, including his most successful and longest role at Nottingham Forest. However, in his second spell at Forest, he made a number of controversial and damaging decisions, and was guilty of wasting large sums of money on uninspiring players. There is also a rumour that Davies is still under contract at Forest, and that Killie may have to pay compensation to land him. This could upset an appointment that would be very popular with the majority of Killie fans.
This is probably one of the more random names on the shortlist, but McCoist has been out of a job for quite a few years now and this could be his way back into top flight football. McCoist is certainly one of the most successful men on the candidacy list, with top clubs in Scotland, England and the Scottish National team among his many stops. He has plenty of top flight managerial experience with Rangers and played over 50 games for Killie, so it is understandable that he is considered a candidate. Overall, this would probably be a good piece of business for Killie if they were to land him.
Clark is another name that was mentioned as soon as Locke called it quits last month. In a sixteen year playing career, he played for top premier league clubs Newcastle, Sunderland and Fulham. Following on from this, he has had managerial appointments at Huddersfield, Birmingam and Blackpool, giving him vast managerial experience. He would probably be one of the best men to lead Killie out of the relegation dogfight, so Clark is the favourite at the moment.
You certainly can’t complain about Cooper’s football experience, he played for eighteen different clubs over a period of more than twenty years. His managerial experience is much the same, with six different clubs under his leadership in the past eleven years. So in terms of experience, Cooper is perfect for the job. However, he has no previous experience of Scottish football, something which is a big advantage to any incoming manager. Cooper is not a front-runner nor an outsider, just somewhere in the middle of the pack.
A last minute name, Alexander is a very strange contender for the job. Having only managed Fleetwood town for two years, he does not have a huge wealth of managerial experience under his belt. However, he guided Fleetwood to promotion from League Two in his first season in charge so he obviously has some prowess as a manager. Alexander probably has an outside chance of getting the post, but in the end, you never know.
So those are the six most likely candidates to succeed Gary Locke. In the coming days and possibly weeks, we will eventually find out who the next manager is. Whoever it happens to be, let’s hope they have the skill necessary to guide us from this mess that we currently find ourselves in.