SL

07 Feb 2020

SKY BET EFL MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS: JANUARY 2020

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

Sky Bet Championship: Sabri Lamouchi (Nottingham Forest)

Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for January.

The constancy of Lamouci’s message gave his players the confidence to come through an awful run at the end of 2019 and emerge refreshed in January, collecting 11 points from five unbeaten games and climbing into third place.

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

He said: “After a difficult December, Sabri has turned Forest’s form upside down and cemented their place as a genuine promotion challenger.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Following a bleak December spell that threatened to derail Forest’s season, Sabri Lamouchi’s persistence paid off in a big way as we entered the New Year.

“The promotion contenders finished a seven-game unbeaten run in fine style at the end of January, seeing off fellow high-flyers Brentford at Griffin Park, keeping them right on the tail of Leeds, West Brom and the holy grail of automatic promotion.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Sabri Lamouchi has quietly been going about his work at Nottingham Forest and his side are well-placed in fourth in the Sky Bet Championship just four points off the top two.

It was another productive month for Forest as they went undefeated and claimed an impressive away win at fellow promotion chasing Brentford.

“It’s been over 20 years since they were last in the big time and odds are currently 100/30 that the Lamouchi’s men are promoted this season, from 8/1 at the start of the month.”

Sky Bet League One: Phil Parkinson (Sunderland)

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Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for January. 

Possibly the only man on Wearside not panicking in December, Parkinson made the bold call to drop Aiden McGeady, instilled a togetherness in his squad and led them to 14 points and a 10-2 goal differential from six unbeaten games.

Parkinson said: “We’ve had a good run of results, the performance level has been excellent and we’ve got ourselves in the mix. That was the intention and now the hard work really does start, but  I’m really pleased with the return of points.

“The things that have really helped us are the work ethic on the training pitch, getting a real pattern of play to our game and consistent team selection.

“It was a bit frustrating for the lads that haven’t been in the team, but they’ve been fantastic and I do think that’s been a key factor. 

“When you go with the same team for quite a while, the others who are out of the team are so important and they’ve driven the standards in training on.”

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

He said: “It was a great January for Phil and his team, who never panicked in their approach to games and it really paid off.

“Moving into the business end of the season, Sunderland are one of the favourites to gain promotion, and quite rightly.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Things were starting to look bleak at the back end of 2019 for Sunderland, but the outlook appears a whole lot brighter now thanks to the wonderful job Phil Parkinson managed throughout January.

“A six-game unbeaten run steadied a rocking ship at the Stadium of Light, putting the Black Cats firmly back in play-off contention. 

“The job is far from done, but this may prove to be the pivotal period of Sunderland’s season, should they be successful at the business end of the campaign..”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “After a tough start to life as Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson has turned things around at the Stadium Of Light. 

“His team are now only two points off the top six, having sat in mid-table at the start of the month.

“They were 11/2 for promotion, but after going undefeated in January the Black Cats are now a 2/1 shot to be promoted back to the Championship.”

Sky Bet League Two: Ryan Lowe (Plymouth Argyle)

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Plymouth Argyle manager Ryan Lowe has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for February.

With the new main stand now open and Home Park packed once more, Lowe has timed his side’s rise towards the top three to perfection. 

Playing football to match his ambition, they collected 13 points and scored 14 goals in six games.

Lowe said: “It is always nice to receive a Manager of the Month award; it shows the good work you are doing. A lot of credit goes to my staff and my players, first and foremost.

“I said that, when I came down here, I would make this a group and a family club. We certainly have that now. All the staff behind the scenes are helping us achieve success on the pitch.”

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

He said: “Three great away victories helped Ryan and his Argyle team amass a 14 point return in January. 

“Given the games in hand Plymouth have on their immediate rivals, the Green Army are full of hope of an immediate return to Sky Bet League One in May.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Plymouth took a direct route to the top three during what can only be described as an excellent January for the club. 

“Ryan Lowe has his troops all singing from the same hymn sheet, and it paid dividends in the form of 13 valuable points.

“The sky really is the limit for Argyle now, and the brand of football they are playing has put the club in prime position for a serious promotion tilt.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Ryan Lowe’s Plymouth team were the form team during the first month of the year in Sky Bet League Two.

“The month started with defeat against Swindon, but Argyle then went undefeated to propel them into the automatic promotion places.

“They’re now 1/3 for promotion, after drifting to 11/8 after the Swindon defeat. 

“Sky Bet’s underlying stats on Plymouth put them as the second best team in League Two, behind Crewe, and they’re real contenders for the title at 5/2 joint second favourites along with the Railwaymen, in from 12/1 after that defeat in the first game in January.” 

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.