06 Oct 2017


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

Sky Bet Championship: Lee Johnson (Bristol City)

Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for September.

His side took over as leading scorers in the Championship with 13 goals in six unbeaten games which yielded 14 points. Even more impressive was that their September fixture list included visits to Reading, Wolves, Norwich and Ipswich.

Johnson said: “It was a very difficult September on paper but the boys have worked fantastically well. I accept the award on behalf of everybody, staff and players and, actually, fans as well because they’ve been part of our good form in September.

“We have a belief and work towards a process that in the end, we want the results, that’s the tip of the iceberg, the three points on a Saturday, and I’ve been delighted by the application of the players and the quality.

“We’ve scored goals and had numbers in the box, had a lot of energy to our play and given the fact there’s been tough games in there it’s been a great September for us.”

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

He said: “Lee has managed to balance sturdy resilience with attacking flair, culminating in a side who finished the month with the best goal difference in the Sky Bet Championship.

“Four wins and two draws against in-form sides have lifted Bristol City towards the upper reaches of the table with their hard to beat mentality.

“With an unbeaten run of 11 matches, Lee will be looking to build on their fine start to the season in the coming months.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “In a division where only five teams have not plied their trade in the Premier League, as one of those five, Bristol City may be considered by some to be one of the ‘smaller’ clubs in the division.

“Their spend has not been huge compared to most, so to see them flying high is really refreshing.

“The fact that they’re up there is a testament to the brilliant work Lee Johnson has done off the pitch and the belief his players have in him. It’s also a reward for the patience the owner displayed when things weren’t going as well for a spell last season.''

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Bristol City ended September with an aggregate score of 13-5 and Lee Johnson must take credit for the manner in which his side has performed in both boxes.

“14 points from 18 is impressive at any point during the season, particularly with four away games.

“They finished the month in fourth place and under Johnson’s stewardship City look well placed to mount a serious Play-Off push, and are 5/2 with Sky Bet to finish in the top six.”



Sky Bet League One: Paul Hurst (Shrewsbury Town)

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for September.

Only a late Blackburn equaliser denied Hurst’s Shrewsbury side a magical seven wins from seven games in the month. His superbly drilled team sit on top of Sky Bet League One. The belief his players have in him is clear for all to see.

Hurst said: "It’s a proud moment, the first award I’ve had as a Football League manager, but ultimately it’s the players’ efforts, in particular, along with the staff in the background that contributes to me as the manager getting this award. 

“It’s a massive surprise in truth to be unbeaten at this point, two months into the season. We thought we would be better than last year, but for the players to have done as well as they have is credit to them and their hard work. We’ve surprised everyone, including ourselves.”

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

He said: “Paul can be extremely proud of his team’s flying start to the season as the only undefeated team remaining in the Sky Bet EFL.

“But for a late equaliser against Blackburn, Shrewsbury would have achieved the perfect month, however six out of seven wins is still a remarkable record for a side who finished last season two points above the relegation zone.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Shrewsbury’s run of success has been nothing short of astounding and credit has to go to Hurst who has taken an unfancied bunch to the top of Sky Bet League One at the start of October.

“There’s still an awfully long way to go this season, and Hurst knows the unbeaten run won’t last forever, but the Shrews are in as strong a position as they can be at this stage with dreams of promotion becoming more realistic with every passing game.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Expectations were predictably low in Shropshire after battling relegation for much of the last campaign, so for Paul Hurst’s side to still be at the summit of League One and remain the only undefeated side in the EFL is a remarkable achievement.

“The ex-Grimsby chief was unfortunate to miss out on the August Manager of the Month accolade but few can deny him this one after winning six out of seven games in September.

“His side are more than capable of sustaining their assault on the automatic promotion berths at 4/1, while the Shrews are now odds on to finish in the top six.”



Sky Bet League Two: Kevin Nolan (Notts County)

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for September.

Nolan’s side were almost unstoppable in September, winning six successive games to jump to the top of Sky Bet League Two and collecting 18 points from a possible 21. They did so with the same panache and energy their manager possessed as a player.

Nolan said: "This is an extremely proud achievement for me, my staff and my players, who have all made a massive contribution.

"There's no way I could do this job without Richard Thomas, Mark Crossley and everyone who has supported me behind the scenes. They all thoroughly deserve this recognition.

"I would also like to thank the chairman once again for the amazing backing he has given me, not only this season but since our arrival in January."

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

He said: “Kevin has led Notts County to the top of Sky Bet League Two in impressive fashion. Six wins, including four consecutive clean sheets at the start of the month, has established Notts County as a serious contender for promotion.

“Kevin has made a hugely promising start to his management career and I’m sure he will keep his team focused on setting the pace for their rivals to chase.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Nolan has made the transition from playing to management with ease and has done a great job of turning Notts County around to a position of strength and stability.

“The start they’ve had this season will be extremely pleasing to him and the owner who has pinpointed Nolan as a ‘star of the future.’”

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Kevin Nolan is proving quite a hit at Meadow Lane and six wins out seven in September more than merit this award.

“Nolan looks to have found the stability in Nottinghamshire he was perhaps lacking when in brief charge of Leyton Orient last term, and the former Bolton midfielder must be applauded on the way he’s integrated youth and experience into his side.

“Jon Stead, Shola Ameobi and Alan Smith bring great experience, however Nolan’s nurturing of youngster Jorge Grant since his arrival on loan from neighbours Forest partly explains why his Magpies side occupy top spot in League Two.

“Sky Bet offer 7/1 County stay there and its’s just 6/4 they’re playing in League One next 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 EFL trader Mikey Mumford