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League One

Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month: December winner

Nathan Jones has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for December.

11 January 2019

Jones left his role at Luton to replace Gary Rowett as Stoke City manager earlier this week.

It was a third successive Manager of the Month nomination for Jones, whose former team continued its charge towards the League One summit with another near perfect month.

Jones said: “First of all, I am proud to have won this four times in my managerial career and it is the first time I have won it in League One, so I am very proud to win for myself and my staff and the players who and obviously a thanks to the Luton fans for all the support they have given me throughout my tenure. I know that there are frustrations there, but as I said I would like to thank them for everything they have done for me because they took me to their club and I will never forget that.

“I would like them [Luton] to see them achieve promotion, we put in place a very good things, very good processes, a real good culture and environment there with excellent players that are capable of getting automatic promotion. I would like to see the job done and I would like to see them in the Championship because that is where the club at a minimum deserves to be and as I said they are group of players that are talented enough to be able to do that. 

“Ours [Stoke’s] is the first result I look for and then it will be Luton’s, Brighton’s, Yeovil’s and clubs that I have been associated with. I have got very good relationships with pretty much everyone at the football club. I hope they do very well. It is a big game and I really hope they win it and cement a place in the top two.

“It is [a] very exciting [opportunity] otherwise I wouldn’t be here. It is a big club with a wonderful fan base and a very talented group of players and it is very exciting to see what we can achieve. We achieved real good success at Luton and put things in place that will stand them in good stead for a long, long time and hopefully we can do that while achieving promotion to the next level.”

George Burley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “Nathan had Luton pushing up near the top of Sky Bet League One and they have shown great consistency in the last few months.

“December was another near perfect month in which they collected 13 points from five unbeaten games.

“It is great news that Nathan’s work and success at Luton has been recognised by his appointment at Stoke City. He is another young British manager who has really earned the opportunity to work in a higher division.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It’s no surprise that Nathan has been given a chance to prove himself in the Championship with Stoke as what he has done with Luton over the last couple of seasons has been magnificent.

“He had the team playing with style, with solidity at the back and had the whole club pulling together in the same direction. If he can build the same thing at Stoke, then seeing him in the Premier League in the future is not unlikely.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Luton won four and drew the other under Nathan Jones in December to put them firmly in contention for back-to-back promotions.

“Jones’ departure couldn’t have come at a worse time for Luton with them mounting a serious title challenge over the last couple of months.

“The Hatters were 5/2 second-favourites for the title prior to Jones leaving, but Sky Bet have pushed them out to 11/4 after seeing money for their promotion rivals Pompey, Sunderland and Barnsley on the back of his departure.”

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