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07 Sep 2018

SKY BET EFL MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS: AUGUST 2018

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

 Sky Bet Championship: Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United)

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for August.

The Argentine has made an exceptional start at Elland Road, giving outsiders such as Mateusz Klich a chance to impress and his players licence to attack at will. Six unbeaten games yielded 14 points and took them top.  

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

He said: “Marcelo arrived in England this summer with a tremendous reputation, which is clearly warranted based on how Leeds have performed in the opening six games. 

“Entertaining but organised, the team has taken to his methods quickly and their early form suggests they will be strong contenders for promotion come May.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “What an impact Bielsa has made at Leeds United. After last year’s great start under Garry Monk, the fans won’t yet be getting carried away, but there is the sense that this team is different.

“The style of play which Bielsa was known for in Spain and led him being touted to some of the biggest clubs in Europe is already in evidence at Elland Road and the players are responding to his methods.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Bielsa’s first six games in charge of Leeds saw them win four and draw two, leaving his team top of the Sky Bet Championship table. 

“They are into 4/1 joint favourites for the title having been as big as 12/1 at the start of the month.”


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Sky Bet League One: Steve Evans (Peterborough)

 Peterborough manager Steve Evans has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for August. 

Evans stated publicly that the Peterborough job was the one he had been waiting for and the feeling is mutual after a perfect August saw his side collect 15 points, score 15 goals and sweep the opposition away with their attacking prowess.

Evans said: “The boys have worked incredibly hard, as everyone knows in football it is a new group. They have been terrific, they have gone about their business properly, and they have been backed with some terrific staff, hence why this award is in recognition to the staff and all the players, because they have been nothing short of outstanding.

“What we are trying to do now is just have a consistent approach, a real focus to work hard every day, and being able to get back on the bike when we fall off and we will fall off, but we have to make sure we fall off less than the others.”

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

He said: “Peterborough have had a fantastic month under Steve’s guidance, winning all five games in great style. 

“15 points and 15 goals, 10 of them away from home, has taken the team to the top of Sky Bet League One and they are already looking like the side to beat.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Evans has tried to confront Peterborough’s issues head on, and that plan paid dividends in August.

“An inability to back up their home form on the road has cost them in previous seasons, but Evans set his team up to overwhelm the opposition, and 10 goals scored in three away games was the result.’’

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Steve Evans steered his Peterborough side to five wins and a 100% win record in August. 

“Posh were considered by many as a mid-table team but after an excellent start the early table toppers in league one have seen their odds for promotion plummet from 9/2 to 9/4.”

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Sky Bet League Two: Danny Cowley (Lincoln City)

Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for August.

Cowley picked up where his team left off last season, allying fitness to an unquenchable team spirit that brought his side 13 points from five unbeaten games. 

Even more impressive was that four of them came from losing positions and helped secure leadership of Sky Bet League Two going into September.

Cowley said: “It is a new group and we are learning about each other every day, so we are certainly a work in progress. But we have been pleased to accumulate the points that we have done in what was a really, really tough start to the season in terms of the fixtures. 

“It has been a good start, but it is only a start. It certainly gives us a platform to push on from, but the Manager of the Month award is firstly a team effort, but also a club effort, and I just want to congratulate everybody behind the scenes for all of their selfless hard work. 

“We are pleased to get the Manager of the Month award, but we will be even happier if we can get the April Manager of the Month award, because that will mean that we are performing at our best in the business end of the season.”

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

He said: “As last season, Danny has his team playing with great spirit, energy and motivation. 

“This has resulted in an unbeaten month with four wins taking Lincoln to the top of Sky Bet League Two. This team continues to improve and impress in the process.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “After consolidating their place in League Two last season, there is a feeling around Lincoln that they should be making a shot at promotion this term.

“The season couldn’t really have started any better for Danny Cowley’s men, with four convincing wins and a draw.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Lincoln have so far lived up to their favourites tag and have enjoyed an excellent start, topping the league at the end of August. 

“They look the real deal and are now into 15/8 for the Sky Bet League Two crown.”

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.