Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Stephen Craigan: SPL bosses like Lomas in demand because they can be shrewd spenders

Normally a transfer window is a time for players to move on but in the SPL it seems that managers are in demand also.

Terry Butcher turned down the chance to be the highest paid manager in Barnsley's history, Steve Lomas has been linked with Doncaster and Dundee United manager Peter Houston is on Blackpool's wish list after the departure of Michael Appleton.

What is it that is making SPL managers attractive?

The biggest thing is they have to work within a very tight budget yet still produce a team that is competitive and attractive to watch in a tough league and all three have managed to do that.

Player recruitment and being able to attract players with potential is appealing in today's tight financial market and again all three have experience in this field which chairmen will find enticing.

It seems the SPL is a good grounding for managers and I'm sure if there are any vacancies the list to replace them will be extensive.

One vacancy that has been filled is the Scotland manager's post. Bookies and fans’ favourite Gordon Strachan has the unenviable task of attempting to qualify for a major championship for the first time since 1998. With their World Cup 2014 hopes all but over Strachan's aim will be to build towards France 2016. It's a long way away but the Tartan Army hope will live in hope!

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The idea of a winter break is supposed to give players the opportunity to relax, freshen up and get away for some warm weather training.

The problem is Celtic are the only top flight side who could afford the luxury of a trip away.

So, as the rest of the SPL clubs brave the wintry conditions in Scotland the champions in waiting will be enjoying their break but will be continuing to work hard and top up their fitness.

With the shut down only a couple of weeks then Celtic's trip to Marbella can't afford to be a jolly up.

The idea behind it is a change of scenery in warmer conditions which will lift the player's spirits but with the focus firmly on domestic and European success.

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