Seventh Championship Manager of the Month named
Rafa Benitez won Championship Manager of the Month for October but despite being nominated for February, the Newcastle boss has lost out this time.
David Wagner was hot favourite to get the award after picking up 16 points from six matches, whilst Rafa Benitez collected 15 points from seven games. The other two candidates were Preston’s Simon Grayson and Fuham’s Slavisa Jokanovic.
The EFL judging panel saying this about the two main candidates when the four nominations were announced.
Rafa Benitez (Newcastle United)
As well as his side’s impressive passing style, it is the Spaniard’s calm demeanour and understanding of the Championship’s challenge which inspired their return to the top, collecting 15 points from seven unbeaten games.
David Wagner (Huddersfield Town)
Wagner stayed true to his principles during a blip around the turn of the year and drew his reward in February, with his side collecting 16 points from six games and earning deserved home wins over promotion rivals Brighton, Leeds and Reading.
Friday saw David Wagner confirmed as the winner, whilst Aiden McGeady of Preston was named Championship player of the month – no Newcastle players were named as contenders.
Championship manager of the month awards for 2016/17
August David Wagner
September Alex Neil
October Rafa Benitez
November Steve McClaren
December Chris Hughton
January Jaap Stam
February David Wagner
After the EFL announced that the Huddersfield boss had won the February award:
“As was the case in August, I only accept the February Manager of the Month award on behalf of every player, member of staff and everyone else connected with this special club, Huddersfield Town.
“We enjoyed such good results because of the excellent, consistent level of performance from every player in the squad.
“That happens because of self-belief, trust in each other and hard work every day at the training ground.
“I’m very proud of everyone in this group; it is a pleasure to work with this squad and staff.”
George Burley, who chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel:
“Huddersfield Town have had an exceptional February, which has given them a realistic chance of gaining automatic promotion.
“David has moulded the team to play a very expansive style of football which is attractive and exciting to watch.”
Sky Sports’ Don Goodman:
“For much of January it appeared that the race for automatic promotion from the Championship was all but done, but Huddersfield weren’t giving up the fight to catch the top two just yet and are now in contention after a series of great wins during February.
“They steamrollered Brighton – a very rare thing over the last couple of seasons – and beat Leeds and Reading at home whilst negotiating difficult away fixtures at Barnsley and QPR to go into March with a realistic chance of reeling the runaway leaders back in.”
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