The nominations for the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for October 2016 have been revealed and Rafa Benitez has three other contenders to deal with.
The Newcastle boss should be a certainty based on simple stats (results!) but it doesn’t always work that way.
Rafa Benitez picked up a perfect 15 points out of 15 in October, defeating Rotherham 1-0 (Away), Brentford 3-1 (Home), Barnsley 2-0 (Away), Ipswich 3-0 (Home) and Preston 2-1 (Away).
The other three nominations are Simon Grayson, Garry Monk and Chris Hughton.
Former Newcastle boss Hughton was next best in terms of points, with Brighton picking up four wins and a draw for 13 points.
Whilst both Monk (Leeds) and Grayson (Preston) picked up three wins and a draw for 10 points each.
The decision will be announced on Friday (tomorrow) and these are the official EFL write-ups on each contender.
Rafa Benitez (Newcastle United)
Benitez’s side swept all before them as a perfect five wins from five games took them to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table. As impressive as the variety of their attacking play was the delight his players took in conceding just two goals.
Simon Grayson (Preston North End)
Grayson’s men made light work of fixtures against the top four in the table, with the manager guiding his side to three wins and a draw from five games as they climbed into the upper half. Most impressive of all their results was a 1-0 win away to Norwich.
Chris Hughton (Brighton & Hove Albion)
What looked to be an awkward fixture list turned out to be anything but as Hughton led Brighton to a 13-point haul from five games, including a first-ever win away to Sheffield Wednesday and a 5-0 gallop past promotion rivals Norwich.
Garry Monk (Leeds United)
Monk has shown a calmness in dealing with the pressure of the Leeds job while introducing his own methods at the club. Ten points from five games has the Elland Road faithful looking upwards again.