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READ | Watford boss lands Sky Bet Championship March Manager of the Month award

9 April 2021

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

Sky Bet Championship: Xisco Munoz (Watford)

Watford manager Xisco Munoz has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for March.

March was moving month for Munoz’s men. They began it embroiled in a three-way fight for the second automatic promotion spot and ended it in style, six points clear of Swansea and Brentford after a perfect five wins and a 12-2 goal differential.

Munoz said: “We enjoy our work and give our maximum. That's important for the group, the players, the staff and the club. The award is for everyone who helps the team.

“Relationships are so important at the training ground. If we are together we have more power. It's amazing when you feel everyone has the same goal and same objective."

Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “What a great run of results for Watford in March. Five straight wins and 12 goals has propelled Xisco Munoz’s team into second place, with a six point cushion from third placed Swansea in the automatic promotion places.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The Hornets will probably look back at March as a pivotal month as they set themselves apart from the chasing pack in their hunt for automatic promotion.

“When they needed to back up a very decent February, Munoz guided his men to five superb wins on the bounce, putting Watford in prime position for an instant return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “The Hornets are now 1/10 from 4/5 at the start of the month to gain promotion straight back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

“Watford were one of the favourites for promotion before the season started at 2/1 but after an indifferent start led to managerial change, Munoz was appointed before the turn of the year and has more than steadied the ship.

“At odds of 1/33, and eight points clear, Norwich look to have the title sewn up, but only Munoz’s Watford at 14/1 could realistically have any sort of chance of catching them now.”

 

Sky Bet League One: Steve Evans (Gillingham)

Gillingham manager Steve Evans has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for March.

His high-energy side didn’t give their opponents a moment’s rest in March, pressing, harrying and playing their way into the play-off places. The 3-0 win at Lincoln was the highlight of a haul of 17 points and 16 goals from eight games.

Evans said: “The award is in recognition of the players really because they have delivered the performances, and some fantastic results along the way.

“It was a period we knew, if we had any hope of getting around the play-offs, we had to get some results. We are a decent side now, full of good players. March was tough, a lot of long journeys and late nights, but well worthwhile.

“The players, and staff, are giving everything to the cause. The boys have been fantastic.”

Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “The pressure was certainly on Steve Evan’s Gillingham when facing a large number of games in a March but his men responded brilliantly with 17 points gained from their eight fixtures, a brilliant return.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Points at this stage of the season are worth their weight in gold, and Gillingham came out of March with a very decent haul thanks to their frenetic, swash-buckling efforts over the course of the month.

“Steve Evans has his players fighting for every ball, and this mentality led to a mightily impressive 17 points from eight games.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “During a hectic month in League One Steve Evans guided Gillingham to five wins, two draws and one defeat as his side rose from fifteenth place up to sixth during March and at odds of 66/1 have an outside chance of being promoted this season.

“League One is so competitive, but there is no doubting Evans’ managerial ability at this level and he is starting to get the best out of his summer signings like Vadaine Oliver who netted eight goals for him in eight games this month.

“Evans side recorded credible results that included a win against a highly rated Lincoln side and they also took points off league-leaders Hull. In this form Gills fans can be optimistic of a good end to the season and have more than seen off any lingering doubts about relegation.”

 

Sky Bet League Two: Ian Evatt (Bolton Wanderers)

Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for March.

Remarkably, his side matched its February record in March – five wins, one draw and a 9-3 goal differential from six unbeaten games. That consistent form included crucial wins over promotion rivals Cambridge and Forest Green.

Evatt said: “I’m fortunate enough to be the front for it all but it’s the hard work from everybody that gets you these awards.

“The players, the rest of my staff, the management team and everyone around the club, this is for us all. But I’m sure we’ll swap the three I’ve won already for the big one at the end of the season – that’s the main goal!”

Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “Managers are always pushing their teams for consistency in their quest for success and Ian Evatt’s Bolton look to have found that with another good month of results.

“Sixteen points from their six games puts them within touching distance of automatic promotion places.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Bolton’s recent run of form has been the very model of consistency, so it’s little wonder that Ian Evatt scoops this award for the second month running.

“His troops extended their unbeaten run until the end of the calendar month, and most impressive of all were their wins over table-toppers Cambridge and a Forest Green side right alongside them in what is proving  to be an almighty scrap between plenty of clubs for those top three automatic promotion places.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Bolton Manager Ian Evatt wins his second award on the bounce and his third overall this season after an incredible turnaround in form since November that saw his Bolton side go from nineteenth place to fourth in the table and just outside of the automatic promotion places on goal difference.

“The Trotters won five and drew the other as they embarked on yet another unbeaten month in March and we saw their odds to gain promotion tumble again from 13/8 at the start of the month into as short as 1/16 after they defeated Forest Green a week ago.

“Sky Bet have Evatt’s side rated as the best in the division now and fully expect them to go on and achieve promotion back to League One at the first time of asking. They are into 12/1 for the title from 33/1 at the start of March.”

 

The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Barnsley manager Danny Wilson, Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.


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