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The peculiar alchemy that explains the success of a manager at one given club has never been more pertinent than in Scotland's top flight this season. At time of writing – because quite frankly who knows what will happen next? – six teams have jettisoned the man in charge while at least one other manager Lee Johnson seems to spend alternate weekends worrying about whether this will be the one when the axe will finally fall on his head.

The changes have brought differing degrees of success, of course. That's the thing with managers, it's not just those guys who are to blame. But too often clubs look at the removal of an incumbent as some kind of panacea, a silver bullet for all that ails them.

In four of those instances this season it can be credibly argued that regime change has had a positive impact. The most obvious example is at Aberdeen where the man in the hot seat isn't even assured of the job should he guide the Pittodrie club to a place in European football next season. Barry Robson has presided over seven wins in the last nine matches since taking temporary charge of Aberdeen to haul them into third place, a position they are likely to finish in with a five-point gap now established to Hearts – who also find themselves under temporary guardianship with Steven Naismith now in the dugout.

In one of those little ironic quirks that the merry-go-around creates, the man Robson replaced at Aberdeen – Jim Goodwin – has effected a minor turnaround at Dundee United. So much so, that a side which seemed condemned to relegation prior to his arrival last month, has now picked up eight points from their last five matches and looks increasingly as if they are in the kind of fettle that might just be enough to take them to safety.

At Fir Park, Stuart Kettlewell has stopped the bleeding at Motherwell and started hauling his side clear of danger, thus proving again that a manager who has been deemed to have failed elsewhere (Ross County) is not necessarily a busted flush and that sometimes greater context is required as to why that failure occurred.

The Herald:

The final manager to have created a turnaround of sorts is Michael Beale. There are, of course, reasons to ponder the full extent of that change in fortunes. Rangers were listing badly when the Englishman arrived for his second spell at the club. They had maintained the nine-point gap to Celtic that was established under his predecessor Giovanni van Bronckhorst up until their 3-2 defeat at Parkhead at the start of the month. Of course, that tally has now been extended to 12 points following Celtic's win and any managerial performance at Ibrox will always be measured in relation to where they sit in the table with regard to their bitter rivals. Two defeats in 22 league and cup games is not to be sniffed at however and has to be measured in the context of where Rangers sat prior to Beale's arrival – it just so happens those losses came at the hands of Celtic.

Elsewhere, though, it is harder to measure the change. Naismith lost his first match in charge – the Edinburgh derby and the former Scotland midfielder Robert Snodgrass left the club citing rumours of unrest in the Tynecastle dressing room. It is hardly the best of starts but it is still early days for Naismith. St Johnstone also got rid of Callum Davidson recently following a string of poor results and replaced him with yet another caretaker in the shape of former Saints striker Steven MacLean. It remains to be seen what effect, if any, the waygoing of Robbie Neilson and Davidson will have on the bearing of the final Premiership table. Replacing them with caretakers is a gamble, clearly. What will govern success over the final weeks of the campaign? For Hearts it is surely guaranteeing European football of some kind, while as for St Johnstone they must ensure they stave off relegation just as they did last season.

In leaving it this late, however, they have made the job infinitely harder for the new men – and have left much to that intangible (made up?) phenomenon described as “new manager bounce”