Aitor Karanka

09 Oct 2015


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

Sky Bet Championship: Aitor Karanka (Middlesbrough)

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for September.

Karanka masterminded a perfect month on Teesside as Boro affirmed their pre-season status as promotion favourites by winning all four games, with a 10-2 goal differential.

They did so with the flair that swept them to a 3-0 victory over Leeds United.

Karanka said: ““It’s amazing for me. I’ve been a manager here for two years and we have this award again.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the staff, the players, the people at the club, and the supporters. Without them all it would be impossible.

“September was a good month for us, winning those games, but we have to keep going in the same way and keep working.”

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

He said: “After the disappointment of losing the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final last season, Aitor has kept the momentum of his side moving forward. 

“They have had a great month winning all four games and are looking like a side which is capable of going a stage further this season.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Karanka’s Boro have coped with the pressure of being favourites for promotion and have finished the month just two points behind leaders Brighton. 

“He will be hoping the team can carry on this form into October and beyond as they mount a title challenge.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Karanka’s Boro went perfect in the month of September; scoring multiple goals in each of their victories.

“The Spaniard recently reached 100 games at Boro and has impressively won more than half of those matches.

“Opening the season as 9/2 favourites, Karanka and his squad have been business-like in working their way up the table and enjoy one of the best defensive records in the league.

“We make them 13/8 to have overtaken Brighton as league leaders by the end of October.”


Sky Bet League 1: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Burton Albion)

Burton Albion manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has been named the Sky Bet League 1 Manager of the Month for September.

He led Burton to the top of League 1 for the first time in the club’s 65-year history.

Hasselbaink has instilled a calm belief and an organisation that allowed his team to collect 10 points from five games, keeping three clean sheets on the way.

Hasselbaink said: “I’m honoured but it’s more about the achievement with the boys and I don’t want to be singled out.

“So far the boys have been exceptional and I think that when the manager gets that kind of recognition then they should give the group some recognition as well.”

George Burley said: “Jimmy has done a fantastic job since taking over at Burton Albion. He has had a tremendous month collecting 10 points from five games and has made history in taking Burton to their highest league position in the 65 years since the club was founded.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is making quite a name for himself as manager of Burton Albion.

“He took on Gary Rowett’s promising squad after their Play-Off disappointment in 2014 and has put his own stamp on them.

“He did a fantastic job in getting them promoted in his first season at the helm and is well placed to repeat the feat in League 1 this season.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Starting the month with a defeat to Coventry was purely a blip for perfectionist Hasselbaink.

“His Burton side are playing a very attractive brand of football and are organised and tough to break down. 

“The Brewers started the season as a 25/1 shot to follow up League 2 success with a Sky Bet League 1 title, but they are now 5/1 second favourites behind Sheffield United, who currently sit eight points behind them in the table.”


Sky Bet League 2: John Coleman (Accrington Stanley)

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman has been named the Sky Bet League 2 Manager of the Month for September.

A creditable draw at Portsmouth was followed by four straight victories as swashbuckling Stanley climbed into the Play-Off places.

Coleman’s passing creed saw his attractive side score 10 goals while conceding just three.

Coleman said: "It's an honour to receive the award but it's a fallacy that it's Manager of the Month as it should be Team of the Month as it's the team that gets the most points.

"I am just the recipient. I didn't score any goals - although I wish I had.

"The last time I got any kind of award like this, we won the league - the Conference - so hopefully it's an omen."

George Burley said: “To gain promotion you have to be consistent and John has certainly got this from Accrington Stanley in September.

“They achieved a good draw against Portsmouth then had four straight wins scoring ten goals while conceding just three.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “What a job John Coleman is doing at Accrington Stanley.

“Tipped by many to be relegation candidates, his side have defied everyone’s expectations and are sitting pretty just inside the Play-Off places thanks to an incredible September.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Stanley started the season as they usually do – tipped by many to struggle towards the bottom of Sky Bet League 2.

“They were 7/2 to occupy one of the bottom two spots in the division come the end of the campaign.

“Thoughts have now turned to the top of the table thanks to an unbeaten month featuring a very creditable point away to title favourites Portsmouth as well as convincing wins over Exeter and Crawley.

“Now looking up rather than over their shoulder, Accrington are 5/2 to end the season in the top 7.”