Luton Town manager Mick Harford has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for March, whilst Bristol Rovers' Jonson Clarke-Harris has been awarded the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month.
Manager of the Month
Luton Town manager Mick Harford has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for March.
It is too simplistic to suggest that Harford has a team which runs itself as Luton continue to charge towards automatic promotion.
Motivating his players to maintain their standards, he led them to a 14-point haul from six unbeaten matches.
Harford said: “It’s an honour to accept the award on behalf of the football club, and that’s what it is – it’s for the football club.
“When I took the role I wasn’t in it for any self-gratification, it was a case of coming in to help the football club and try to put it in a better place. I think that we as a group have achieved that.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank the board for supporting myself and the staff. I’d like to thank my staff, who have been amazing and worked tirelessly over the last few months.
“But mainly, this award that I am accepting on behalf of the football club, is mostly down to the players. They have been absolutely amazing in the period that I’ve been in charge, so I’d like to give them a big thank you.”
George Burley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.
He said: “Mick has maintained Luton Town’s remarkable momentum in a very busy unbeaten month.
“Automatic promotion has always been the objective and looks increasingly realistic for a club that is performing well in every department.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It’s never easy for a group of players to lose a manager, but after Nathan Jones moved to Stoke at the start of the New Year, leaving the Hatters top of the table, you’d have been forgiven for expecting their form to dip a little.
“CEO Gary Sweet’s decision has turned out to be a stroke of genius, turning to a man who knew the club inside out, Harford has kept the ship sailing through to the verge of a famous consecutive promotion.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “There’s not much more you can say about Luton. The Hatters set a new club record of 28 league games unbeaten at the weekend and are all but certain of back-to-back promotions.
“Mick Harford has come in and done a great job since Nathan Jones left for Stoke at the start of January. They boasted a tremendous record in March to sit seven points clear in League One and are 1/10 to lift the title having been 4/9 at the start of the month.”
Player of the Month
Bristol Rovers striker Jonson Clarke-Harris has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for March.
Eight goals and an assist for Clarke-Harris in March – and what goals. Long-range screamers against Gillingham and Plymouth, a breathtaking solo effort against Luton and a hat-trick against Blackpool. Pace, power and hold-up play added up to a stellar month.
Bristol Rovers manager Graham Coughlan said: “Jonson enjoyed fantastic form last month and showed the type of qualities that we knew he had when we signed him.
“Some of the goals were of outstanding quality and his all-round contribution has aided the team and has helped the side pick you some important results.”
Clarke-Harris said: “I’m enjoying my football. I’ve come here to score goals, help the lads out and feel like I have done that.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “March was the month when Clarke-Harris proved what a fantastic finisher he is and simultaneously dragged Rovers away from the relegation zone with some vital goals in big wins.
“Clarke-Harris had an innocuous start to the season at his previous club Coventry City, scoring just five times before moving to the South West in January, but he’s been a revelation for the Gas.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Jonson Clarke-Harris was in outstanding form for Bristol Rovers scoring eight goals in March including a couple of long range screamers to help his side stave off any relegation fears.
“The Gas were as short as of 13/8 for relegation at the start of the month but after picking up a couple of good wins they are now as big as 11/1 and sit three points clear of the drop zone in 16th place.
“It’s so close in the bottom half of League One with just six points separating 13th to 23rd.”