10 Nov 2017


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

Sky Bet Championship: Gary Rowett (Derby County)

Derby County manager Gary Rowett has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for October.

October was the month in which Derby announced themselves as promotion contenders. Four wins from four earned Rowett’s men a maximum 12 points, but it was the manner of the victories he inspired at Norwich and Leeds which impressed most.

Rowett said: “I think it’s a nice honour for everyone at the club who’s worked incredibly hard. It feels a little bit silly, me, getting the award on my own because of course it’s a reflection of the whole staff that are working incredibly hard behind the scenes and of course the players that perform so well in the games.

“It was a big month for us and it was a month that we needed to get us back up into contention.

“We were determined to find the right balance, which we didn’t feel we’d found in the first period of games. We’ve shown a little bit more belief recently.

“Our aim has always been the same, to be around the top six positions, of course you want that to be the top two. Consistency is what every team is after and we’re working very hard to achieve that.”

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

He said: “Gary has shown that Derby are genuine promotion candidates in October and won maximum points from their four games. 

“The squad he has built up during the summer looks strong enough to be challenging for promotion this season.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “When Derby lined up against local rivals Nottingham Forest for their first game of October, it was billed as a crucial game for both managers, with the teams occupying 14th and 15th spot in the division. 

“Four games later, Rowett’s Derby side put together a run of great performances and dragged themselves into the Play-Off places.''

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Eight goals and 12 points represented a great return for Gary Rowett in October.

“The Rams boss deserves enormous credit considering the opposition the four victories came against three sides with promotion aspirations of their own.

“Rowett looks to be getting his message across at Pride Park, his side are on the cusp of the top six and have been well supported to reach the Play-Offs at 7/4 following an excellent month.

“Gary played for The Rams for three years, he’s passionate about the football club and his experience and knowledge looks like giving Derby a serious tilt at promotion.”


Sky Bet League One: Paul Cook (Wigan Athletic)

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for October.

Cook led his side through an unbeaten October, collecting 11 points from 15 along the way. Allied to their attractive passing style, the away wins at Scunthorpe and Blackpool also demonstrated his team’s willingness to battle.

Cook said: "I’m delighted to be awarded the Manager of the Month, it’s a great accolade not only for the manager, I think it’s a club award.

“I think our success is down to repetition on the training ground and going onto the pitch knowing your jobs and believing in what you’re doing, and hopefully, even when you have setbacks - we went a goal down at Blackpool early on in the game – you’re believing in what you’re doing, which will see you home.”

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

He said: “It has been another good month for Wigan, taking 11 points from 15 and remaining unbeaten in October. 

“Paul believes in his team playing attractive, positive football and it’s certainly working well. 

“They also demonstrated their battling skills with two good away wins at Scunthorpe and Blackpool.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Hopes were high at Wigan when they were promoted under Gary Caldwell in 2016, but a disappointing campaign last season saw them back to square one in League One.

“It was important for Cook to come in and get off to a decent start, which is exactly what has happened and it’s not lost on me that many managers are now hailing Wigan as the most complete team in the division. October has given them a great platform for the rest of the season.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “On his arrival Cook spoke about the exciting challenge at Wigan and how his new side must start the season strongly if they were to launch a serious attempt at a return to the Championship.

“His side must have listened to every word because the Latics have made a blistering start to the campaign and an unbeaten October which included three victories has seen them narrow the gap to leaders Shrewsbury to one point.

“Cook’s track record of taking clubs forward, as he did with Chesterfield and Portsmouth, can only strengthen Wigan’s case for an immediate return to the second tier.”



Sky Bet League Two: Nathan Jones (Luton Town)

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for October.

Jones has built a side full of attacking intent, as shown by their 13-5 goal differential in collecting 10 points from five games.

A 7-1 home win over Stevenage was followed three days later by a 4-1 victory at promotion rivals Exeter.

Jones said: "I’m very proud, I know people say it every time they win but this is recognition not just for my work but for the work of the coaching staff and all the team and everyone associated with the football club. It’s nice to have it, it’s my first one and I’m very proud to have it.

 “Our goal is promotion; our goal is automatic promotion. It was the same last year and we were just one place out and this year we have to go one better. It’s not pressure that anyone else is putting on us, it’s pressure we’re putting on ourselves. We believe we’ve got the tools to achieve that but so do a lot of other clubs in the league.

 “I said it slightly tongue in cheek, but not tongue in cheek that I want to be the best manager in the world and nothing changes. That is what you have to strive for if you want to achieve as much as you can.

“There’s a long way to go before that happens, but with hard work and the right opportunities, who’s to say that you can’t achieve your goals.”

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

He said: “If you are a Luton fan, it must be very exciting watching them play at the moment. 

“Nathan has got them playing great attacking football scoring 13 goals in October.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Nathan is clearly an incredibly ambitious and also a very talented manager.

“When Luton are at their best, they are almost unstoppable and it won’t surprise me if we see more of the one-sided score-lines go in their favour throughout the season.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Nathan Jones said on record his players wanted 10 points from October. His players got their wish, they ended it with exactly that figure but perhaps more importantly the Hatters remained in the automatic places in League Two.

“Jones has assembled a stronger squad to the one that was beaten by Blackpool in the Play-Offs last term, and the Welshman has done remarkably well considering the expectations attached to his side following their near miss in May.

“Taking points off teams around them in Exeter and Accrington, Jones’ side have shown a resilient edge so far this term and look well placed to go one better this time around.”

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