Barnsley caretaker head coach 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 and capture of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
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, who chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel, 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 Final was just rewards for the good work that Heckingbottom has put in at the start of his tenure as manager.”
The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town boss George Burley, Sky Sports’ Football League expert Don Goodman; Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson; League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery.