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07 Apr 2017

SKY BET EFL MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS: MARCH 2017

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

Sky Bet Championship: Paul Lambert (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Wolves manager Paul Lambert has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for March.

Three successive wins to close out March, which included victories in west London at Fulham and Brentford, lifted Wolves out of the relegation spots and vindicated Lambert’s trust in his side to turn good performances into points.

Lambert said: “It’s really pleasing to win the award. First and foremost, I’ve got to thank the players, they’re the ones that actually play the games and get results and they’ve come through a little sticky patch and the form has been excellent. I’m really delighted for everybody at the club.

“I think the Brentford game, we were excellent from start to finish, I think we played really well and that was the catalyst to the next game against Fulham which was really tough as well.

“We need to keep carrying on winning. I think that’s important. At this moment we’re six unbeaten, with five wins so we have to keep climbing the table as far as we can. Hopefully that stands us in good stead for next season.”

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

He said: “Paul has shown his managerial qualities this month in taking Wolverhampton Wanderers out of the relegation spots.

“They had three consecutive victories, two of which were away from home at Brentford and Fulham.

“When you are in a relegation battle it is important to stay calm which Wolves have done and Paul is showing he is the right manager to help push the club up the league.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The turnaround of form that Paul Lambert has overseen over the last six weeks has been a great relief and nothing short of miraculous when you consider the results prior to that.

“Coming into the month on a four-game losing streak, Wolves lost and drew their first games before going on a five-game winning run that extends to today, and has almost certainly lifted their relegation concerns away.''

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “When Wolves came to the end of their losing streak they were a season short price of 7/1 to be relegated, a feat which would have been inconceivable at the turn of the year.

“Lambert was able to turn things around and run off three straight wins to round out the month, including a very impressive 3-1 win at promotion chasing Fulham.

“This crucial run of victories now has Wolves looking up, and whilst it is too late for a Play-Off push they will have aspirations of a top half finish which is available at 9/4.”

 

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Sky Bet League One: Phil Parkinson (Bolton Wanderers)

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

Patient during his side’s stuttering form in the New Year, Parkinson earned his reward for trusting his methods as Bolton erupted for 16 points and 17 goals from six games, which included 4-2 away wins at promotion rivals Fleetwood and Oxford.

Parkinson said: "I’m very pleased to win the award. We’ve had a good month obviously with some excellent results, especially on our travels, and it sets us up nicely for the final run-in.

“My particular highlight of March would have to be the Fleetwood game – at the time, we went there and they were 18 games unbeaten, so to go there and win as convincingly as we did gave us a real lift of confidence.

“We want to maintain the standards we have set during the course of the season during our remaining fixtures – our levels have gone up of late and they need to go up another notch as we look towards the season’s conclusion.”

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

He said: “Phil has got Bolton Wanderers back to top form again after having a stuttering time at the beginning of the year. 

“They had a fantastic month collecting 16 points and scoring 17 goals in six games which included two 4-2 away wins at promotion rivals Fleetwood Town and Oxford United.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Parkinson’s second Manager of the Month award of the season comes at the business end and he has maneuvered the club into a great position to secure automatic promotion.

“If they are to bounce back at the first attempt, under Parkinson, they will be well equipped to thrive in the Championship.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Parkinson’s side have been built on solid defensive work so far in this League One campaign, but as the race for automatic promotion places heated up Bolton looked to play a more attacking style and finish teams off.

“What followed were three away victories in which Parkinson’s men scored four goals each time, an achievement rated as a 10,000/1 by Sky Bet.

“The Trotters boss led his men to five victories in a month where the chasing pack struggled, and Bolton found themselves 1/20 to make a return to the Championship having entered March still odds against at 6/5.”

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Sky Bet League Two: John Coleman (Accrington Stanley)

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for March.

Stanley were in 21st place, six points above the relegation zone when March began.

Five wins and two draws from seven games later and thanks to Coleman’s positivity and nous, they ended it in 13th, seven points off the Play-Offs.

Coleman said: “I am delighted for the players - it is a team effort and the backroom staff deserve a huge credit as well. 

"At the end of the day, it's the team who have got the points and that have done exceptionally well in March.

"Hopefully they can repeat it in April and, if we do, we will have a great chance of the Play-Offs.

"We stuck to our guns when things weren't going well for us before Christmas, we couldn't buy a win but we believed in what we were doing and the players stuck with it and now we are getting our rewards. They players are acting like winners."

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

He said: “What a great month for Accrington Stanley. John has given them a positive belief that they can match any team in the division and that positivity helped them gain 17 points in an unbeaten month.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Accrington have, by and large, failed to hit the heights of last season where they were moments away from automatic promotion.

“That must have hit the squad hard and it’s not surprising it took until February to show last season’s form again.

“However, currently 12 games unbeaten and fresh from a victory over second placed Plymouth a shot at the Play-Offs may still be within touching distance with a strong end to the season.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “League Two is such a tight league that even at 13th in the table form team Accrington have an outside chance of promotion.

“This is due to an unbeaten March where the team had to contend with seven fixtures due to games in hand and Coleman has used his squad brilliantly during that period.

“Accrington have left themselves a lot to do; they are still 14/1 to reach the Play-Offs, but they looked dead and buried entering the month at odds of 66/1 and should they get there they would be a match for anyone given their brilliant recent form.”

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