Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for December.It was an impressive month for Karanka’s side with 13 points garnered from five games – all against promotion rivals - and a 7-0 goals differential.
His shrewd tactics were in evidence as Boro ended Brighton’s long unbeaten start.
Karanka said: “It’s a lovely honour to have but I think this a reflection of how well our team is playing at the moment.
“The best example is that Adam Clayton has been named as Player of the Month as well, and he’s part of a team that has worked very hard to reach our current position in the table.
“It’s an award for everyone here at Middlesbrough, including all the players and coaching staff, and we are very pleased to receive it.”
George Burley, who chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel, said: “It was a fantastic month for Middlesbrough, remaining unbeaten in five games – all against promotion rivals.
“Their away wins at Ipswich and previously unbeaten Brighton shows they are firm favourites to win the Sky Bet Championship this season.”
Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Karanka’s Middlesbrough side are looking menacing and have started to pull away at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table.
“This is already Aitor’s second Manager of the Month award this season and Boro have put themselves in a great position to go one better than last year and reach the Premier League.”
Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Boro dominated the festive period in the Championship - especially at the back, where their run of clean sheets in the League stretches back to the end of October."
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.