Derby County manager Gary Rowett has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for October.
October was the month in which Derby announced themselves as promotion contenders. Four wins from four earned Rowett’s men a maximum 12 points, but it was the manner of the victories he inspired at Norwich and Leeds which impressed most.
Rowett said: “I think it’s a nice honour for everyone at the club who’s worked incredibly hard. It feels a little bit silly, me, getting the award on my own because of course it’s a reflection of the whole staff that are working incredibly hard behind the scenes and of course the players that perform so well in the games.
“It was a big month for us and it was a month that we needed to get us back up into contention. We were determined to find the right balance, which we didn’t feel we’d found in the first period of games. We’ve shown a little bit more belief recently.
“Our aim has always been the same, to be around the top six positions, of course you want that to be the top two. Consistency is what every team is after and we’re working very hard to achieve that.”
George Burley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel. He said: “Gary has shown that Derby are genuine promotion candidates in October and won maximum points from their four games.
“The squad he has built up during the summer looks strong enough to be challenging for promotion this season.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “When Derby lined up against local rivals Nottingham Forest for their first game of October, it was billed as a crucial game for both managers, with the teams occupying 14th and 15th spot in the division.
“Four games later, Rowett’s Derby side put together a run of great performances and dragged themselves into the Play-Off places.''
Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Eight goals and 12 points represented a great return for Gary Rowett in October. The Rams boss deserves enormous credit considering the opposition the four victories came against three sides with promotion aspirations of their own.
“Rowett looks to be getting his message across at Pride Park and his side are on the cusp of the top six. Gary played for The Rams for three years, he’s passionate about the football club and his experience and knowledge looks like giving Derby a serious tilt at promotion.”
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 EFL trader Mikey Mumford.