Bolton Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for October.Parkinson went back to defensive basics to regain his team’s early-season momentum.
No League One side conceded fewer than Bolton’s three goals in October, the foundation stone for five wins and 15 points from six games.
Parkinson said: “I’m very pleased to win the award. We had a good month in October after a difficult period the month previous, but we came through it and now the aim is for us to continue this run.
“After the start we had to the season, we perhaps took our foot off the gas slightly, but we learned from that alongside getting a number of players back from injury.
“We have also learned though that winning is hard and that to succeed, we need to play with desire and commitment and push ourselves to the limit.
“The Millwall game we had, away at The Den, typified that mentality along with our victory over our local rivals Bury. You saw then that the players were pushing themselves to their limits for Bolton Wanderers.
“Our supporters are identifying with that too and I can feel the momentum of the fans’ backing behind the players. It is still very early days in the season though and there’s a lot of work ahead of us.”
George Burley, who chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel, said: “Phil is proving once again what an excellent manager he is with Bolton Wanderers. They had a fantastic October gaining 15 points and only conceded one goal in the process.
“It is never easy to turn a big club like Bolton around, but Phil is certainly giving the team and the fans a new belief.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “October began with a defeat to Oxford in which they failed to register a shot on goal and left Parkinson so worried by his team’s slump that he addressed the fans in a passionate letter to the local paper.
“The turnaround since then has been remarkable with a string of four league victories to nil and a 3-1 victory against Port Vale, that lifted his side back into the automatic promotion places.”
Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “After a very solid start it looked like Bolton might have lost their way, going winless in September despite having the best defence in League One.
“Parkinson has brought an organisation to his side and once they recaptured their own scoring form they were able to rattle off a fourfold of consecutive wins to nil, culminating in a solid 2-0 win away at local rivals Bury."
The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Marketing Director Drew Barrand, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery.