Kilmarnock are looking for a new manager after Alex Dyer left the club in the wake of their 3-2 home defeat by St Johnstone.
Dyer left by “mutual consent” shortly after Killie let slip a two-goal half-time lead to leave themselves just five points off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership.
Steve Clarke’s former assistant spent just over 13 months in the role after initially succeeding Angelo Alessio on an interim basis. Kilmarnock won 13 games and drew five of his 44 matches in charge.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the potential contenders to replace Dyer in the hotseat.
So much makes sense about appointing Gary Holt. A lifelong Killie fan who still lives in the town, he played in the 1997 Scottish Cup-winning team and has the club’s badge tattooed on his leg. He enjoyed two successful years in charge of Livingston before making way for David Martindale in November, having led them to a fifth-placed finish last term. But a stumbling block is that the 47-year-old is less than three weeks into a new role as sporting director of Falkirk, the club that gave him his first chance in management, having declared “unfinished business” with the Bairns.
Former Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson last week declared himself ready to work again four weeks after stepping down from his Fir Park role after feeling he could not begin another rebuilding job there. The Northern Irishman led Well to two cup finals and third place in the league last season while helping the club bring in about £6million in transfer income. Even if the contractual issues allowed Robinson to join Kilmarnock, the 46-year-old may view it as a sideways move though and hold out for a different challenge.
Another who has proved himself beyond doubt in the Premiership, Tommy Wright had enjoyed unprecedented success with St Johnstone including their first major silverware and a run of top-six finishes and European qualifications. The 57-year-old has missed out on the Northern Ireland and Motherwell jobs since deciding to end his seven-year spell in Perth and could be more amenable to a Killie approach.
Former Scotland midfielder David Hopkin is available after leaving boyhood club Morton amid financial constraints that forced him to dip into his own pocket to pay some players and put on food for the squad. Hopkin led Livingston to consecutive promotions before becoming one of Bradford’s many recent managers. He was making progress with a young squad at Morton before leaving in December.
Ex-Falkirk boss Steven Pressley has been out of the game since being sacked by Carlisle in November 2019. The former Hearts skipper previously had spells with Coventry, Fleetwood and Cypriot side Pafos and came close to a return to Tynecastle before Craig Levein stepped into the manager’s seat in 2017.
Scot Gemmill recently took Scotland Under-21s to within 90 minutes of qualifying for the European finals for the first time this century and has now spent almost seven years with the Scottish Football Association. Helping young players develop is a big part of the Kilmarnock ethos but the Ayrshire club’s board might wonder whether navigating a potential relegation battle is a job for a more-experienced club boss.