DW

10 Mar 2017

SKY BET EFL MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS: FEBRUARY 2017

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

Sky Bet Championship: David Wagner (Huddersfield Town) 

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for February.

Wagner stayed true to his principles during a blip around the turn of the year and drew his reward in February, with his side collecting 16 points from six games and earning deserved home wins over promotion rivals Brighton, Leeds and Reading.

Wagner said: “As was the case in August, I only accept the February Manager of the Month award on behalf of every player, member of staff and everyone else connected with this special club, Huddersfield Town.

“We enjoyed such good results because of the excellent, consistent level of performance from every player in the squad. That happens because of self-belief, trust in each other and hard work every day at the training ground.

“I’m very proud of everyone in this group; it is a pleasure to work with this squad and staff.”

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

He said: “Huddersfield Town have had an exceptional February, which has given them a realistic chance of gaining automatic promotion.

“David has moulded the team to play a very expansive style of football which is attractive and exciting to watch.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “For much of January it appeared that the race for automatic promotion from the Championship was all but done, but Huddersfield weren't giving up the fight to catch the top two just yet and are now in contention after a series of great wins during February.

“They steamrollered Brighton - a very rare thing over the last couple of seasons - and beat Leeds and Reading at home whilst negotiating difficult away fixtures at Barnsley & QPR to go into March with a realistic chance of reeling the runaway leaders back in.''

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “As the Championship run in looks to become a three horse race the current outsider Huddersfield remain an absolute revelation under Wagner.

“Fancied for nothing more than a solid mid table finish during pre-season it is Wagner’s men that held things together during February to move away from the rest of the chasing pack and put some real pressure on Newcastle.

“Entering February it looked like Wagner’s side would have to settle for a Play-Off appearance and they were 16/1 to go up automatically. They now have a real chance to go up as one of top two sides and are priced at just 7/2 to do so.”

 

NH

Sky Bet League One: Neil Harris (Millwall)

Millwall manager Neil Harris has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for February.

The former Lions striker has put in place a defensive system at The Den which took Millwall through February unbeaten, collecting 15 points from seven games, and unbreached at the back - no goals conceded in 630 minutes of football.

Harris said: "The award is recognition for the efforts of everyone at this football club throughout a hugely successful month for us.

"To have continued our unbeaten run, while keeping as many clean sheets as we did, is testament to the hard work, desire and togetherness of the team, the work of my coaching staff and, importantly, the impact the fan base have had on our performances.

"I'm delighted with the award but it's really one for everyone to celebrate. We cannot rest on our laurels, though, because there are many big games ahead of us between now and the end of the season, which we hope ends in success for the football club."

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

He said: “It has been a very busy month for Millwall playing seven league matches. Neil must be very proud of his team as they didn’t concede any goals, were unbeaten and collected 15 points to push them into a Play-Off position.

“It shows that Neil has gained great organisational skills to make his team so hard to beat.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “For a former striker, it is somewhat strange that Millwall’s sterling form over the last two months has been built on stability at the back.

“The feel-good factor gained from good news off the pitch and the magnificent FA Cup run has been utilised to maintain good form in the league, as Harris has kept Millwall on course for the Play-Offs.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Often these awards are given to a player who has scored a hatful of goals during a month, or a manager who has overseen several high scoring victories in the month.

“However, a solid backline provides a platform for greatness and is just as valuable, which is why Harris and his entire Millwall defensive back five deserve the credit for this award.

“The Lions started the new year in peril of missing out on a Play-Off place, drifting to 5/4 having endured a run of indifferent form in November and December.

“However, an unbeaten start to 2017 has seen them jump back into solid Play-Off contention and they are now rated as 1/3 shots to take part in the end of season four team duel for a place in the Sky Bet Championship.”

 

DS

Sky Bet League Two: Darren Sarll (Stevenage)

Stevenage manager Darren Sarll has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for February.

Having declared he finds being a manager a lonely job, Sarll made friends aplenty in February by guiding Stevenage into the Play-Off positions with a 16-point haul from six unbeaten games and an even more impressive 14-5 goal differential.

Sarll said: “I am very pleased to receive this award which I will collect on behalf of the players and staff.

“Without either, February would not have been as rewarding as it was. We have positioned ourselves nicely and this award goes to recognise the excellent form we are currently in individually and collectively.

“March must now reflect the foundations laid as we have now set standards far higher than ever before.”

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

He said: “An impressive month for Stevenage remaining unbeaten, winning five and drawing one of their matches.

“Their impressive goal difference has taken them into the Play-Off positions and I’m sure Darren has enjoyed his team’s performances in February.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Sarll lost six of his first nine games as Stevenage manager, and faced a really tough task to try and turn around the fortunes of a struggling side.

“However, just a year later, and striving for a Play-Off spot, the story could not be more different. Sarll has the dedication and endeavour to succeed, and rightly says he has no time to pat himself on the back until the season is done.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “League Two is perhaps the tightest and most competitive division in England this season, a run of wins can propel a side up the table quickly, and Stevenage were the benefactors this month.

“The best bit for Stevenage fans was the nature of the five wins, with their side scoring more than once on all five occasions.

“In a division that tends to be tight, low scoring and with very little home advantage for most teams, Sarll’s achievements are that bit more special.

“His side have certainly guaranteed an exciting end to the season; rated a 40/1 promotion chance to open the month their odds have come tumbling into 9/1 entering the real business end of the season.”


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 Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery