The Glasgow born attacker spent most of his career with Hibernian in Edinburgh. He played for Hibs for eight years, after signing as a trainee in August 1997, but spent loan spells with East Fife, Airdrie and Boston United during that time.
McManus left Hibs in January 2005 to join Dundee, but would leave the club in the summer of 2006. He then joined Falkirk for a short time before signing with Dunfermline Athletic FC in February 2007. McManus became a fan favorite at Dunfermline, scoring two goals in seven games, and contributing greatly to Dunfermline's run to European competition at the end of the season.