Mark Wilson - League 1 Manager of the Month November 2016
Airdrieonians manager Mark Wilson has won his first managerial award despite being just five weeks into his first-ever senior coaching job - and he’s been quick to remember those who helped him get off to such a promising start.
The former Celtic and Dundee United defender has been named the Ladbrokes League One Manager of the Month for November after his side managed three wins from three matches to keep them in touch with leaders Livingston.
Wilson was quick to acknowledge the work done on the pitch by his players, as well as his staff behind the scenes - but he also reserved special mention for Dundee manager Paul Hartley.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News, Wilson said: “I’m delighted. Although they’d never admit it, every manager looks to win awards and they appreciate awards because it shows they’re doing their job properly.
But I’m the same as every other manager who has won this; it’s not down to the managers, it’s down to the players.
“You tell them the way things may happen in a game, but it’s up to them to perform and our guys had a particularly hard time with a young manager coming in and they adapted to it brilliantly and have went out and performed. I know my name will be in the headlines, but it’s the guys who have done it really.
“Paul Hartley gave me the chance to coach at Alloa when I was still playing at Dundee United and I appreciate that hugely.
“It gave me the chance to go in and take charge of 20/30 boys on my own and get my own ideas across and he was very free in how he let me do things. He let me take charge of the reserve team and I was really pleased with that.
“It gave me the kind of platform and appetite to realise I wanted to actually go into management. I’m hugely grateful to him for letting me do that, I’ve got a good relationship with him, and I’m forever grateful and obviously that’s went a long way towards getting me the Airdrie job. Obviously, the guys upstairs at Airdrie consider things like that.”
The Diamonds boss also mentioned Gordon Dalziel, who has been brought in at Airdrie as Director of Football, and Wilson seems delighted to have such an experienced sounding board.
He added: “The thing is, when I went into the job, people must have thought Gordon and I were best pals because we’re on the radio together on Thursday night, but the fact was we only ever spent two hours per week together - we never socialised or anything.
“But Gordon’s obviously seen something in me and there’s a lot riding on his decision to bring me in, and I’m pleased he did. We have similar ideas.
"But he’s been somebody that I can rely on – it’s not easy going into a dressing room without much experience.
“We agree and disagree on things, but he’ll always say it’s my decision at the end of the day and I really like that. He’s somebody who’s been a manager for 12 years and it was a great opportunity for me to go into management with somebody I can rely on.
“We’re hugely ambitious. The club’s full-time and being full-time means there’s a pressure on us to make that play-off place now. I would love to say we’re aiming for the league title – and there’ll be ups and downs – but we’ll not be too far away come the end of the season.”
Defeat to Stenhousemuir at the weekend leaves Wilson’s Airdrie second in Ladbrokes League One, four points behind Livingston, but having played a game more. They’re currently 5/1 with league sponsors Ladbrokes to win the title come May.