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08 Feb 2019

SKY BET EFL MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS: JANUARY 2019

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

Sky Bet Championship: Tony Mowbray (Blackburn Rovers)

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for January.

A perfect start to 2019 for his team who climbed to within three points of the Play-Off places with a maximum 12 points from four games.

They attacked with verve, while Mowbray’s decision to move Jack Rodwell into central defence looks inspired.

Mowbray said: "Individual awards are nice, but it’s a reflection of the team and the fact that we’ve managed to win games and accumulate points and making sure we are stabilising in the league and at times punching above our weight.

"We have to make this club feel as if there’s an expectation. In this moment, in our minds, we are happy to compete in the games and bloody a few noses along the way of bigger teams.

"Some time in the near future, we feel we should be getting out of this division. We’ve got 16 games to make the Play-Offs this year and you never know.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Tony Mowbray bemoaned the difficulties of finding players to improve his squad in the January transfer window, but on the evidence of performances that his side put together, they’re not a million miles away from a serious play off challenge.

“His charges swept aside all before them in January, scoring nine goals in four games, conceding just one.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Tony Mowbray guided his Blackburn team to four wins from four games in the month of January.

“Rovers now sit in 11th place in the table and are only five points off the Play-Offs. We make them a 12/1 shot to make the Play-Offs come the end of the season.”

Sky Bet League One: Stuart McCall (Scunthorpe United)

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Scunthorpe United manager Stuart McCall has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for January. 

When his side lost six straight games up to December 29th, scoring just a single goal in the process, others might have panicked.

Not McCall, whose trust in his methods and belief in his players were rewarded with 13 points from a possible 15.

McCall said: "Obviously it's a nice accolade, not for me personally, but for the club, for the players and for the staff.

“It'll go next to the one I won in December for the worst manager of the month! When you look at the run we were on and for the players to turn it around in January like we did, it's full credit to them.

“We've cut out the individual errors, worked extremely hard and showed good togetherness and teamwork, but we want to continue that now."

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Given the hierarchy of the club’s recent ruthlessness with managers, Stuart McCall would have been under no illusions that he was under pressure to keep his job at the end of December, such was the dreadful run of results Scunthorpe were having, leaving them 23rd on Boxing Day.

“Just a month later and I am thrilled that he’s picking up the Manager of the Month award and sitting comfortably in mid-table. McCall stuck to his principles and reaped the rewards.

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Stuart McCall guided his Scunthorpe team to four wins and a draw from five games in January.

“Going into 2019 The Iron sat third from bottom and were as short as 4/9 be relegated. After an excellent run of results they now sit 14th and look to have staved off any fears of relegation.

“They are 5/1 to go down but they will be looking up and not down and are a 50/1 shot to make the top six.”

Sky Bet League Two: Ryan Lowe (Bury)

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Bury manager Ryan Lowe has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for January.

What entertainment at Gigg Lane this season. It stems from Lowe, who refused to grind out results at home to promotion rivals MK Dons and Lincoln. Instead, the games ended 4-3 and 3-3, respectively, as Bury collected 13 points from five games.

Lowe said: “It’s nice to be recognised for the work we’re doing. A lot of credit has to go to my staff and my players because without them it wouldn’t be possible.

“It shows that the work we’re doing, the style of football we’re playing is getting recognised for the right reasons. We’re scoring goals and doing ever so well, so long may that continue.

“The hard work gets harder now, the games are coming thick and fast and we’re nearly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel because there’s only 14 games after Saturday left, but we’re relishing it.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “If there was an end of season award for most entertaining side in League Two, Ryan Lowe’s Bury would probably have it already wrapped up.

“Unleashing the attacking talent at his disposal, the score lines in the month tell their own story: 3-1, 4-3, 1-2, 3-3. The League Two top scorers show no signs of the goals drying up and their promotion challenge is on track.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Ryan Lowe guided his Bury side to five wins and a draw in January to see his team progress to third place in the table. The Shakers are now 13/2 for the title but a more realistic target will be promotion straight back to League One. They are currently as are as short as 4/9 for promotion.” 

The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.