01 May 2015
SKY BET FOOTBALL LEAGUE MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS
The winners of the Sky Bet Manager of the Month Awards for April are:
Sky Bet Championship: Slavisa Jokanovic (Watford)
Watford manager Slavisa Jokanovic has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for April.
Jokanovic showed confidence in both himself and his players by rotating his squad and making positive, early substitutions in games, including the 2-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion which clinched promotion.
George Burley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.
He said: “Watford have had a fantastic April, collecting 16 points.
“The Sky Bet Championship has been the most closely contested division in England this season and Slavisa and his team must be congratulated for earning automatic promotion.”
Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Slavisa Jokanovic could not have wished for a better first season in charge of the Hornets.
“He has led his team into the Premier League with one game to spare and goes into the final game in pole position to win the Sky Bet Championship title.
“An unbeaten April ensured promotion with crucial results against close rivals Middlesbrough and Derby.”
Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Watford went into April well positioned in the Championship promotion race, but with Bournemouth and Norwich both in top form many didn’t expect them to keep up the pace and see it through to the end of the season; the Hornets were 10/1 to win the league after their draw with Derby on the 3rd of April.
“As it has happened, Jokanovic’s men have kept up the pace and then some, winning every game since them and their spot in the big time is now confirmed.
“Highlights include a 2-0 win against challenging Middlesbrough side and a 2-0 away win at Brighton with the pressure on.”
Sky Bet League 1: Karl Robinson (Milton Keynes Dons)
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson has been named the Sky Bet League 1 Manager of the Month for April.
Robinson guided his side through a month of crushing dominance as they closed in on the automatic promotion places.
The Dons gained 19 points from a possible 21 with a 20-3 goal differential, winning five games by at least two goals.
George Burley said: “Yet again Karl has pushed MK Dons forward with a phenomenal goal difference.
“Simon Grayson’s Preston have also been in great form and it will be an interesting battle between the two of them to see who gets automatic promotion alongside Bristol City.”
Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “To go seven games unbeaten at any stage of the season is a tough ask.
“But to do it in the final month of the season is an incredible achievement when you consider the immense pressure.
“Karl is to be commended for the run that has taken the promotion race to the Sky Bet Championship down to the final day.
“The stand out results from the month were the 3-0 victories against Swindon, Fleetwood and Doncaster as well as the 6-1 victory over Leyton Orient.”
Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “At the start of the month it looked like automatic promotion was out of reach for MK Dons and they entered the month 7/4 shots to be promoted having been odds on earlier in the year.
“Robinson’s team have responded though, scoring 20 goals and keeping five clean sheets in seven to keep the pressure on Preston and the dream of automatic is still alive going into the final weekend.
“If they don’t finish top two then they will certainly be the team that everyone will be afraid of going into this year’s Play-Offs given their blistering April form.”
Sky Bet League 2: Phil Brown (Southend United)
Southend United manager Phil Brown has been named the Sky Bet League 2 Manager of the Month for April.
Brown proved himself to be the master of timing as Southend charged towards automatic promotion with seven wins from seven games, including a vital 1-0 victory at rivals Bury.
George Burley said: “At this stage of the season all managers are looking for a final push up the table. Phil has won all seven games and not conceded a goal in an amazing record in April.”
Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “It is no surprise that Phil Brown has taken the Sky Bet League 2 award for April.
“Seven games resulting in seven victories with zero goals conceded and nine goals scored. Could Phil have wished for anything more?!
“Southend’s incredible run sees them go into the final game of the season knowing a victory at Morecambe will secure promotion to Sky Bet League 2.”
Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Brown’s Southend side won every game in April without conceding a goal to climb into the automatic spots.
“As with his defender, Sky Bet League 2 Player of the Month Adam Barrett, there’s not really much else to say here as Southend’s clinical April performances have spoken for themselves and Phil Brown fully deserves the award.”
The judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports’ Football League expert Don Goodman, Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson, League Managers Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery.