League Two Managerial Predictions for the 2015/16 Seasonby Jack Kitson / 04 August 2015, 10:54Tweet
In the final piece of the Managerial Predictions series The Sack Race takes a glance at the frantic football arena that is League Two. The fourth-tier of English football explodes out of the blocks on Saturday, with all 24 teams in action at 3pm, and the new term promises to be an enthralling affair from top to bottom.
Below we give our predictions on which gaffer we think will lift the title at the end of the campaign, along with a potential managerial dark horse in the frantic race for promotion, while we also discuss who could be the first gaffer to suffer the humiliation of losing their job.
Title Winning Manager: John Still (Luton Town)
Portsmouth are dominating the show at the top of the League Two betting market, with Paul Cook's troops the only team priced at odds-on to win promotion (5/6 Bet365), while they are available at just 9/2 (Ladbrokes) to hoist the fourth-tier title in the process.
Supporters of the south coast club are desperately hoping that this is the year in which their beloved Pompey can propel themselves out of League Two. Last season the Hampshire club, who were in the Premier League as recently as 2010, were installed as the ante-post favourites for promotion, however in the end they couldn't even finish in the top-half (16th), in what was a bitterly disappointing campaign.
While it's, admittedly, difficult to look past Portsmouth heading into the new term, we are going to do just that. Instead, we look at another team bidding to shoot back up the football league pyramid, Luton Town, who came agonisingly close to securing a play-off place last term (7th), in their first season back in League Two.
In John Still the club have a talented and experienced manager who will be gunning to lead his troops to their second promotion in three seasons. The Hatters have been handed odds of 7/1 (Ladbrokes) to do so in style by clinching the league, while they are backed at 11/4 to finish in the top-3.
Outside Bet: Teddy Sheringham (Stevenage) @ 28/1 with Ladbrokes
Promotion Dark Horse: Paul Tisdale (Exeter City)
Paul Tisdale is currently the second longest-serving manager in English football, having recently passed the nine year mark in charge of Exeter City. During his time at St James Park Tisdale has won back-to-back promotions from the Conference up to League One - winning the League Two Manager of the Year award along the way - although in recent years the club have fallen back down the ladder, and have been stuck in League Two since 2012.
Tisdale nearly led his troops into the play-offs last season, however the club endured a woeful end to the campaign - four defeats in their final five games - which ultimately cost them a top-7 finish, instead slumping to 10th. Consistency will be key to the Grecians' promotion prospects next season, and a fast start to the campaign will put the club in a great position to finish in the play-off places, with the club definitely worth a peak at a tasty 12/1 (Bet365) to break out of League Two.
First Manager To Depart: Adam Murray (Mansfield Town)
Knee-jerk decisions are a common occurrence if a club starts a campaign poorly, with the likes of Accrington Stanley, Dagenham & Redbridge and Newport County all featuring in the ante-post relegation market.
However, our focus is on Mansfield Town who are priced at 6/1 (Betfair) to plummet out of League Two next term. If their manager Adam Murray - the youngest manager in the Football League tumbles out of the blocks - then his job at Field Mill will be hurled into danger.