AN

07 Oct 2016

SKY BET FOOTBALL LEAGUE MANAGER OF THE MONTH AWARDS: SEPTEMBER 16

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

Sky Bet Championship: Alex Neil (Norwich City)

Norwich City manager Alex Neil has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for September.

Neil was determined to rebound from last season’s relegation in style.

The emphasis he places on attack saw Norwich score at least two goals in every September game, winning four out of five to move into the automatic promotion places.

Neil said: “It’s recognition of how well the team’s done over the last month, which is nice for everybody involved.

“The scorelines the games in the month have been quite tight, but the gulf between ourselves and the opposition is probably more than the scorelines suggest.

“We’re now up to second, but disappointingly we didn’t pick up the points we thought we deserved at Newcaslte. We’ve got a lot to be happy about, however a lot still to work on.”

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

He said: “After the disappointment of relegation, Alex has got Norwich City playing exciting, attacking football.

“The month almost ended unbeaten and top of the table but unfortunately they conceded two very late goals in a really exciting game at Newcastle.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Alex will be confident that the experience he gained in the last Championship campaign two years ago will stand him in good stead as Norwich battle for promotion once again.

“The owner’s decision to stick by him must have been a ‘no brainer’ and looks to have paid dividends so far this term and I feel confident that they’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Neil and his Norwich side were seconds away from recording a perfect September before Newcastle stunned them with a late comeback in a 4-3 victory for which the Toon were 200/1 heading into injury time.

“Whilst that defeat will have left a bitter taste in the mouth, Neil can be proud of a month which saw the Canaries roar into promotion contention after a stuttering August.

“Opening the season at 8/1 they are now 5/2 to win the Sky Bet Championship. And with goals coming from all over the field it will be exciting to see whether they can outscore their title rivals Newcastle, surely securing an instant return to the top flight in the process.”

DF

Sky Bet League One: David Flitcroft (Bury)

Bury manager David Flitcroft has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for September.

It was a perfect month guided by Flitcroft’s beliefs in attacking play and some shrewd moves at the end of the transfer window.

Five wins from five games and a goal differential of 13-5 lifted Bury into the automatic promotion places.

Flitcroft said: “There’s a lot of people involved in winning the award. Obviously I get the prize, and it does say Manager of the Month, but it is important to give credit to the lads, give credit to my staff who work incredibly hard, the chairman, the board and all of the supporters.

“We’re trying to bring the club together as one, and I’ll stand there and take the award, but there’s so many people behind the scenes who deserve credit and we’ve won it as a club.”

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

He said: “Dave made some very astute signings at the end of the transfer window and that helped them to a 100% record in September.

“Their goal differential of 13 for and five against was outstanding and that pushed them into an automatic promotion place.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Such is the trend for short-lived football managers, David is now the 17th longest serving manager in English football, and is just short of three years in the job.

“This period of stability has been a successful one in Bury’s recent history and the last month’s run of form has thrown them within touching distance of the top two.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Bury were in scintillating form during September, finding the net on multiple occasions in every match, during a month which saw them take 5 wins from 5 games.

“This fivefold added up to odds of 100/1, which shows what a rare achievement it is for any club in the league. Flitcroft has a great relationship with his chairman and has had the time to build a squad during his tenure capable of mounting a challenge for promotion.

“They will always be a goal threat with the likes of James Vaughan and Hallam Hope in the side and have put themselves in a strong position during the early going.”

DA

Sky Bet League Two: Derek Adams (Plymouth Argyle)

Plymouth Argyle manager Derek Adams has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for September.

Adams guided his side through an almost perfect month, collecting 13 points from five unbeaten games and only conceding two goals.

He has added a pragmatic dimension to his team’s play with top spot in League Two as the reward.

Adams said: "The players have shown terrific form to have accumulated the points total so far, which is the club’s best start for 90 years.

“This has been achieved by hard work, creative edge and good character. We have to keep going; it's a tough league - you can see that by the results every week.

"We had excellent season last season and we have made an even better start this time around.

“We had to make many changes to the team over the summer – we've taken in 16 new players – and I'm delighted with the blend to the squad.'' 

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

He said: “Plymouth Argyle were unbeaten in the month, collecting 13 points from 5 games, and conceded only two goals.

“Derek has made them a very hard team to beat and the two away wins at Exeter City and Leyton Orient were great results.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Plymouth’s rise to the summit of the Sky Bet League Two table has come off the back of four wins and a draw in September.

“Derek is a man I know well from our playing days together at Motherwell and so it’s not a massive surprise to me that he has impressed in his first job in English football. There is no doubt in my mind that they will be challenging for promotion again in May.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Dropping just two points in the month of September, Adams and his Plymouth side have quietly established a five-point gap at the top of League Two.

“Built on a sound back line they kept 3 clean sheets during the month and didn’t concede more than once in any game.

“They are available at 7/2 to lift the League 2 trophy in May, and fans of Adams’ tough to beat charges will look to take that price with confidence that they will fight for every point and be a tough nut to crack for the chasing pack.”

The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports’ EFL League expert Don Goodman; EFL Marketing Director Drew Barrand, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery