SJ

04 May 2018

SKY BET EFL MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS: APRIL 2018

The winners of the Sky Bet EFL Manager of the Month Awards for April are:

Sky Bet Championship: Slavisa Jokanovic (Fulham)

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for April.

April brought six more unbeaten games and 16 more points as his team continued their relentless pursuit of automatic promotion.

Even in the crucial run-in, Jokanovic has his players expressing themselves with verve, freedom and beguiling fluency.

Jokanovic said: “April was a great month for us. It wasn’t an easy month, facing teams like Millwall who were still fighting for an important target and trying to win full points against Sunderland when they’re playing with no pressure.

“At the end of the month, it’s a great job, huge credit for my players and we’re looking at the next steps immediately ahead of us.

“We’re thinking only about the next challenge, which is getting three points against Birmingham and getting to 91 points for the season.”

George Burley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “Slavisa has had Fulham playing great football which has been wonderful to watch and now they are producing the results their performances deserve.

“They have had a fantastic run of results and are neck-and-neck with Cardiff City for the second promotion spot.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Now on a 23-game unbeaten run, Jokanovic’s Fulham, from quite a way back, have taken Cardiff right down to the wire in the race for the second automatic promotion slot.

“Only a 93rd minute equaliser for local-rivals Brentford robbed him of full points from April’s six games.

“That goal may be the goal that sees them end up in the Play-Offs but if they do, they will be the team the others are hoping to avoid.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Fulham had six games to contend with in April but Jokanovic repeatedly got the best from his players despite the demanding schedule.

“The Cottagers nicked three games in the month by the odd goal to keep the pressure on Cardiff in second and the Serb deserves immense credit for taking their automatic promotion challenge right up until the final day.

“Fulham are 7/2 to go up automatically and 6/4 to go up via the Play-Offs and it might take some effort to stop them in their current mood.”


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 Sky Bet League One: Paul Cook (Wigan Athletic)

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for April.

A busy April schedule of eight games couldn’t halt his side’s charge to promotion.

Fifteen points were gained and 17 goals scored along the way as Wigan stayed true to his principles and passed their way into the Championship.

George Burley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “Wigan had a busy April, playing eight games and collecting 15 points while scoring an impressive 17 goals.

“This was enough to clinch their promotion to the Championship. Paul managed to keep their passing style of play going and he will be looking forward to a big challenge next season.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Last month, when picking up March’s Manger of the Month award, Paul spoke about being happier if he was sitting there with April’s award. Well, now he’s got his wish!

“After another taxing month with eight fixtures crammed into four weeks, Cook’s Wigan side secured promotion with a thumping 4-0 win against Fleetwood in a run of games that highlight the depth and quality of the squad he has put together.’’

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Consecutive awards for Paul Cook who secured Wigan’s immediate return to the second tier with a stellar month which included the 4-0 win at Fleetwood to secure promotion.

“Wigan’s magnificent FA Cup run meant they were playing catch up in League One with eight fixtures in April but three victories by four or more goals only further highlighted the sterling job Cook has done this term. His side are 1/8 to wrap the title up at Doncaster on Saturday.”

 

NJ


 





Sky Bet League Two: Nathan Jones (Luton Town)

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for April.

The Hatters boss reaped his reward for continuing to encourage his attacking side to express themselves as they collected 13 points from five unbeaten games and sealed the automatic promotion place they have occupied since the autumn.

Jones said: “To win three awards in a season makes me very pleased, as it means in three months we’ve been the highest points scorers which culminated in us getting promoted.

This month is probably the most special because it means you’re finishing strong and we needed that to get over the line.

“I’m immensely proud of leading Luton Town back to League One, but I’m also proud of the work we do. It’s a cliché, but it’s a massive collective effort from day one when I came into the club, from the players who’ve been here, to the staff that were here and we’ve brought in.

“We have a philosophy and a way of playing and what we’ve had to do is recruit for that philosophy. We’ve not gone out and bought in every position, we’ve seen who we can bring forward and develop and it’s taken three transfer windows to get ‘our squad’.

“I don’t think scoring so many goals is a coincidence, obviously the amount we’ve scored has been wonderful, especially in individual games, but we work religiously on our attacking play and we’re a positive side.”

George Burley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “Luton were the only unbeaten team in League Two in April. Nathan continued his attacking style of play and they collected 13 points from five games.

“This sealed an automatic promotion place which they have occupied since the autumn.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “April was the month where the character in Nathan Jones’ Luton side was clear for everyone to see.

“Two wins and a draw from losing positions came as a result of their ability to score goals whoever they’re playing against, and secured the passage to Sky Bet League One with minimal fuss.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Nathan Jones has made no secret of his long-term plan at Luton and securing promotion to League One was first on his list.

“The Hatters 1-1 draw at Carlisle cemented their place in the third tier next season and while there may be a tinge of disappointment in missing out on the title, Jones’ men certainly entertained with the most goals and fewest defeats in the division.”

 

 The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Marketing Director Drew Barrand, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford.