Rotherham United manager Paul Warne has missed out on the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month Award, with Sunderland boss Lee Johnson claiming the managerial gong for the month of December.
Sunderland were the busiest team in League One in December. They made the most of their six games with a 14-point haul and a huge 17-3 goal differential as Johnson juggled his squad and lifted them to the top of the table.
Johnson said: “It’s nice win this award and my thanks goes out to all the players and staff at the football club, as it’s only possible with their unwavering commitment.
“I accept this award on behalf of those who have sacrificed in the special month of December for SAFC. Now, our focus quickly turns to Wycombe Wanderers this Saturday afternoon.”
Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.
He said: “Lee made the most of his squad in the busy December period and it paid dividends. 14 points from six games is no mean feat and takes them into the New Year in an automatic promotion place.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The little wobble they suffered in October seems to have been put firmly behind them, so for Lee Johnson and Sunderland, December could prove to be the month that they put some inconsistency behind them and started a sustained march towards promotion.
“Hugely convincing wins over Morecambe, Doncaster and Sheffield Wednesday added gloss to an unbeaten month where they opened a gap to the chasing pack and piled the pressure onto Wigan, who fell victim to several Covid postponements around Christmas.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “9/4 preseason favourites Sunderland hit their straps under Johnson during December, as his side went undefeated in their six league games to leave them just one point off top spot in Sky Bet League One.
“We still have leaders Rotherham as 10/11 favourites for the title but after the Black Cats’ impressive form we have cut them into 11/4 second favourites from 9/2 at the start of the month.
“This will be Sunderland’s fourth season in the third tier and Johnson’s main aim will be getting them out of it. At 8/15 to be promoted it’s looking increasingly likely that this could finally be their year.”