Sean Dyche: Millwall's Neil Harris, not Pep Guardiola, is Manager of Year
Burnley manager Sean Dyche has told ESPN FC he believes it is a two-horse race for Manager of the Year, with both his candidates outshining Manchester City's Pep Guardiola.
Dyche, who has guided Burnley to the brink of Europa League qualification in a remarkable campaign at Turf Moor and was named Premier League Manager of the Month for March on Friday, said Guardiola had done an "amazing" job at City this season by taking them to Carabao Cup glory and the verge of the Premier League title.
But he believes the achievements of Neil Harris, whose Millwall team are in the Championship playoff places after coming up from League One last season, and Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman, who has the Football League's smallest club on the verge of promotion from League Two, are greater.
"He [Harris] is a friend, but I wouldn't vote for him just for that reason," Dyche said. "I'm professional enough to not do that.
"I just look at clubs like Millwall -- I know a little bit about the structure of the club, its wage structure and how they are bringing players through -- and they have kind of come out of the pack.
"They were safe a number of games ago but their desire to carry on, and that of the manager to keep the team performing, I think they are all great signs.
"I think what [Cardiff manager] Neil Warnock said earlier this week about this was fantastic.
"I think he [Warnock] has been voted for as the manager of that division, but Neil Warnock said: 'Hang on a minute, if Neil Harris goes and gets this done or makes the playoffs, for me it would be him.'
"Behind some of the situations there are a lot of challenges for managers, and I think Neil Harris has done a fantastic job.
"John Coleman gets a mention too. I think he has done an amazing job at Accrington.
"I try and look not just at the position of the club, as in whether they are in the Premier League or not, it's more about the work that is being done.
"I don't know every manager out there and I don't know every bit of work being done, but it strikes me that those two people in those two clubs are doing fantastic jobs."
Despite a recent wobble that has seen City lose to Liverpool in both legs of their Champions League quarterfinal and be beaten by Manchester United, Dyche said Guardiola had done an outstanding job.
"It's a completely different judgement," he said. "If you were looking at all of the different challenges, Pep Guardiola has done amazingly at City, with the development within his side and the way he has looked and learned, it seems to me, from last season, when they were 15 points off the top.
"That could get you out of a club, not in it, but I think they were wise enough at Manchester City to realise they have one of the top, top people and he has shown that.
"He has remoulded the team. Yes he has spent money, but it's not a given [that you succeed] when you are given money.
"But it's a different idea of the whole view of management from an inside view. From an outside view, I totally agree that Pep Guardiola is right up amongst them to lead the market -- style, brand, some of the performances have been fantastic.
"But underneath that, who is managing situations that are different? Who is managing situations that are just as challenging in different ways?
"I just think that those two guys [Harris and Coleman] have done a brilliant job, as has Pep, but it's just a different reason for me viewing that."
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_