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03 May 2019

SKY BET EFL MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS: APRIL 2019

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

Sky Bet Championship: Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for April.

While the Blades’ automatic promotion rivals faltered, Wilder instilled a clarity of mind in his players that allowed them to ignore the glittering prize on offer and concentrate on collecting 14 points from six games, completing the job superbly.

Wilder said: “It has been a fantastic end to the season and we’ve been celebrating reaching our ultimate goal this week. It is a team effort, including the players, staff and supporters, and this award should be shared by all Unitedites.”

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

He said: “Chris Wilder has kept Sheffield United’s focus on securing promotion through the whole season.

“Never more so than in the massively important final games during the traditionally tense month of April.

“Fourteen points from six games was enough, as their rivals fell away.

“Wilder is a Blades’ hero and has taken the club to the Premier League with attractive and attacking football.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “April is the month when the pressure to get points reaches boiling point if you’re in the hunt for promotion or striving to fend off relegation.

“The Blades started April two points behind Leeds and the question was who would stand strong and hold their nerve to take the second automatic promotion spot

“After unsettling draws with Birmingham and Millwall, Wilder’s man management skills enabled him to rally his troops and win three straight games to nil. He is now, deservedly, a Premier League manager for the first time in his career.’’

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United went undefeated during April with four wins and two draws - enough to seal automatic promotion to the Premier League after twelve years in the EFL.

“The Blades were 9/2 for promotion when betting first opened at the start of the season and were 25/1 to win the league.

“It’s currently a straight shootout between them and Norwich for the league title, with the Blades at 7/2 and Norwich 1/5.”

Sky Bet League One: Lee Bowyer (Charlton Athletic)

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Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for April. 

It would have been easy for him to allow his players to free-wheel towards the play-offs, but Bowyer still had eyes on automatic promotion. He drove his team on to win five of their six April games and almost achieve their goal.

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

He said: “Lee Bowyer pulled out all the stops in April to earn as many points as possible in an attempt to secure an automatic promotion place.

“They did all they could, recording five wins out of six while scoring 13 goals and conceding only three in a month which included a fine win against league-leaders Luton Town. This momentum will stand them in good stead in the Play-Offs.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It’s testament to Lee’s managerial abilities that he’s managed to reach the Play-Offs for a second consecutive season, bringing good times to the Valley in very difficult circumstances when that seemed impossible not that long ago.

“He is the fastest Charlton manager to reach 100 points since the inception of three points for a win in 1981. The shame is that they didn’t start their incredible run just a few games earlier, as they’ve only just missed out on the automatic places. I’m sure Lee will galvanise his troops and hope to improve on last season’s Play-Off efforts.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Lee Bowyer’s Charlton Athletic won five from six in April and go into the Play-Offs as the form team in the division.

“They have been rated well all season and are currently 4/1 to win the Play-Offs - the same price they were at the start of the season for promotion.”

Sky Bet League Two: Michael Flynn (Newport County)

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Newport County manager Michael Flynn has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for April.

April began with Flynn dismissing the Play-Off places as too far away, but ended with Newport roaring into them as his ability to raise his players’ performance levels shone through, with 15 points from seven games and just one goal conceded.

Flynn said: “"It's a fantastic team effort, not just the boys on the pitch, it's the entire squad, the staff, I couldn't do it without them. It's a real team effort. I wish they were in the photo, but we'll have to do with just me and Joe.”

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

He said: “What a month Michael Flynn’s team gave the supporters of Newport County.

“Fifteen points from seven unbeaten games, which included excellent wins against leading clubs Lincoln City and Bury, was enough to climb into the Play-Off places and ensure a dramatic end to the season.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Newport County look to have timed their Play-Off push to perfection, using their games in hand to the full effect and sneaking into seventh position on the final day of April.

“Enormous credit must go to Michael Flynn who is relishing the promotion battle, having saved the club from going out of the EFL just two seasons ago.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Michael Flynn’s Newport won three and drew three games in April to propel themselves into Play-Off contention.

“They can guarantee themselves a Play-Off spot with victory away at Morecambe on Saturday.

“The Exiles are 9/2 to be promoted from 9/1 at the start of the season.”

 

The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.