WARNOCK

08 Apr 2016

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

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

Sky Bet Championship: Neil Warnock (Rotherham United)

Rotherham United manager Neil Warnock has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for March.

More used to winning promotion than staving off relegation, Warnock instilled a collective steel in his players to secure 10 points from four games.

Wins over Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday helped lift Rotherham out of the bottom three.

Warnock said: “This award isn’t just for me, it’s for everyone at the club and that goes from the Chairman down to the cleaners.

“The players have done a tremendous job and so have the staff and I’d like to give special mentions to Kevin Blackwell and Ronnie Jepson.

“The award really is for everyone at the club and the fans have played a huge part in the results that we have picked up.

“We won’t stop here and it’s important to keep that momentum going that we’ve built up over the last month. We’ll need to continue this string of form from now until the end of the season.”

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

He said: “Neil has had a great month taking 10 points from four games, all against teams chasing promotion.

“Since taking charge at Rotherham he has changed their season around, pushing them out of the relegation places towards safety, which look impossible a few months ago.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Neil has come in and worked his magic at the New York Stadium. Rotherham were six points from safety just six weeks ago and were leaking goals for fun, with the second worst defensive record in the division.

“However, a remarkable run of results aided by three clean sheets in March has seen a superb turnaround which leaves them on the brink of safety.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “It took Warnock three matches after getting to Rotherham job to get his troops in order but since that point they have been outstanding, going seven unbeaten including 10 points from a possible 12 in March.

“All of this for a team who spent the first half of the season averaging less than a point a game.

“Sky Bet’s relegation odds do the talking for how good Rotherham were under Warnock in March.

“Heading into the month they were 1/3 to go down to League 1 and they’re now 11/2 outsiders.”

 HECKINGBOTTOM

Sky Bet League 1: Paul Heckingbottom (Barnsley)

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom has been named the Sky Bet League 1 Manager of the Month for March.

Heckingbottom has been instrumental in Barnsley’s pursuit of a Play-Off place.

The quiet man has instantly earned his players’ trust and respect, as shown by 13 points won from six games with the help of four clean sheets.

Heckingbottom said: "It’s great to win but great for the team to win it. The form’s been good and we’ve managed to sustain it all year in 2016. To win is a credit to the players and coaching staff, and the work we’ve been putting in to maintain a good run of form.

“We’ve been in the mix in terms of form and top of the form table. We’ve had lots of players missing and players dipping in and out of the team for different reasons, so it’s been a real squad effort.”

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

He said: “Paul has had a very busy month with Barnsley playing six games and, with the help of four clean sheets, they have collected 13 points. 

“The form they have shown in the last couple of months has given them a great chance of a Play-Off position.

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Lee Johnson’s departure could have destabilised Barnsley’s season, but whilst Johnson has gone on to stabilise Bristol City, Barnsley have actually forced their way further up the league under Heckingbottom.

“The dramatic win in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy was just reward for the good work that Heckingbottom has put in at the start of his tenure as manager.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Losing your manager to a team in a higher league can be a disruptive force to some teams, but it’s clear that familiarity for the Barnsley players with new man in charge Heckingbottom has been a big boost.

“He has stepped into the job from a coaching role and made a huge impression, amassing 13 points during a hectic schedule in March and topping it off with a win at Wembley heading into April.

“With Heckingbottom’s side just outside the Play-Off places at the moment they can be backed at 6/1 with Sky Bet to go back to Wembley and be promoted via a Play-Off to cap off a memorable season.”

 CLARKE

Sky Bet League 2: Darrell Clarke (Bristol Rovers)

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has been named the Sky Bet League 2 Manager of the Month for March.

It was an almost perfect month for Clarke’s side, as he placed the emphasis on attack and entertainment, to lead Rovers to six wins and 19 goals from seven matches, jumping from tenth place to challenging for an automatic promotion place.

Clarke said: "I am very proud to have won the Manager of the Month Award for March, but really it's an award for everyone who works so hard at this football club.

“I have a fantastic squad of players, who are a joy to work with, an incredibly hard working backroom team, a supportive owner and chairman and we are backed by the best supporters in the country.”

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

He said: “To win six games on the trot is a phenomenal achievement in any league.

“Darrell has got Bristol Rovers playing exciting and attacking football scoring 19 goals in seven games.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Six victories in a month is an amazing return and Clarke has got his team firing at just the right time and most crucial part of the season. 

“As the season reaches its climax, Rovers have put themselves well in contention for the automatic promotion places.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “With two remaining spots for automatic promotion in Sky Bet League 2 up for grabs this is the time for sides to make their move and Bristol Rovers did just that in March.

“Clarke had to rotate his squad for a busy March which featured a total of seven fixtures in 28 days but he still led his troops to six wins on the bounce and after narrowly missing out in December he is the deserving winner of this month’s award.

“We make his Bristol Rovers side odds on to be playing their football in League 1 next year, with the current promotion odds at 8/11.”