TF

08 Jan 2021

SKY BET EFL MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS: DECEMBER 2020

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

Sky Bet Championship: Thomas Frank (Brentford)

Brentford manager Thomas Frank has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for December.

Adjusting to life in a new stadium after a Play-Off final defeat and without Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma has not been easy, but Frank’s constant message to his team paid off in December with 18 points from eight difficult fixtures.

Frank said: “This award is one for the team. No Manager or Head Coach will win an award like this without a great team of staff and players going in the same direction. I think that is my job, to ensure everyone is pulling together, and I am delighted that, as a team, we have won this award. 

“We played nine games in December and were unbeaten. That is a fantastic achievement. Across the whole of Europe, no team has played more games than Brentford this season. It takes a big effort from everyone to continue to perform to such a high level and everyone should be really proud.”

Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “A splendid run in December saw Brentford unbeaten in their 8 games scoring 16 goals. The team rounded off with a great win against table toppers Norwich.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The 2020/21 campaign got off to a tricky start for the Bees, as they attempted to regroup from their Wembley defeat, but things are looking significantly rosier for Brentford after a strong showing in a crucial part of the season.

“Frank has his troops singing from the same hymn sheet, and they were superb on the approach to the festive period, dropping just three points in eight testing December fixtures.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Thomas Frank’s Brentford side went undefeated in December winning five games and drawing the other three to put the 9/2 preseason favourites for the Sky Bet Championship firmly back in automatic promotion contention. 

“It looks to be a three-way shoot-out for the title between Norwich at 13/8, Bournemouth at 5/2 and Frank’s Brentford at 11/4 (from 6/1 at the start of the month).”

Sky Bet League One: Steve Cotterill (Shrewsbury Town)

SC







Shrewsbury Town manager Steve Cotterill has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for December. 

Cotterill took over a side in 23rd place and with horrendous-looking December fixtures, but  mastermind away wins at Hull, Lincoln and Doncaster, and victory over in-form Blackpool for a magical 15-point haul.

Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “It was a fantastic turnaround of results in December for Steve and his Shrewsbury team. They faced a set of really tough fixtures against teams around the top of the table and just outside the Play-Off places but returned with 15 points, only losing one game.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Things looked pretty bleak for Shrewsbury when Steve Cotterill took over, but their prospects look a whole lot brighter after a miraculous run of form over the month of December.

“Cotterill’s arrival produced 15 vital points, despite a horrid run of games on paper. The Shrews began playing for their new manager, and their newfound determination was clear as day. A superb period, headlined by three massive victories on the road.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “At the start of the month, Steve Cotterill took over a Shrewsbury team that was second from bottom in Sky Bet League One; five points from safety and an even money shot to be relegated. 

“Fast forward a month and Salop are unbeaten in seven games (W4 D3) and have taken fifteen points from a possible twenty one available to complete a remarkable turnaround to sit five points above the relegation zone and 6/1 to be relegated. 

“Sky Bet now have them priced at 3/1 to finish in the top half from 9/1 at the start of the month.”

Sky Bet League Two: Derek Adams (Morecambe)

DA








Morecambe manager Derek Adams has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for December.

The perennial relegation strugglers are now contenders thanks to Adams, who has instilled belief and fresh ambitions into the Lancashire club. They won five of their six December games, including all four home fixtures.

Adams said: “"We're obviously delighted. I think we've had an excellent December period where we took five wins from some really tough games  and collected 15 points to put ourselves in the play-off positions. It was an excellent month for myself, the team and Carlos Gomes, who was shortlisted for the Player of the Month. It’s testament to the whole squad.

“We’ve been a team that has progressed well throughout the season. We’ve been unfortunate in games to have not picked up more points but with the way we’ve created chances, we’re up there with the best teams in the league.”

Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “It was a brilliant December run for Derek and his team, winning five out of six games which propelled them into the Play-Off places.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “December is always tricky for any team, so navigating the month with a 100% record on your home ground has to be commended.

Morecambe were resilient to the extreme in the lead-up to Christmas. 

“Inspired by Derek Adams, the Lancashire side won four from four at the Mazuma Stadium, and were even able to take an extra win on the road, putting them in position to be a contender at the turn of the year.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Morecambe have been flying high under Derek Adams all season and The Shrimps topped the form table in December thanks to four wins from five games which has propelled them up to seventh place in the table.

“Morecambe are perennial favourites for relegation and this year was no different. The Lancashire club were chalked up as 4/1 for the drop before a ball was kicked, but after a good run of form, they can be backed at as big as 80/1 for relegation. 

“Safe to say we’re pretty confident that Morecambe will continue the trend of being the only club (along with AFC Wimbledon) in the top four levels of English football never to have been relegated! 

“Adams’ side are most definitely looking up and not down this season and are 7/1 for promotion from 20/1 at the start of the month. 

“They are 9/4 to finish in the top seven, which would represent an excellent season for Adams and his players if they could pull it off.”

The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Barnsley manager Danny Wilson, Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.