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Manager of the Month: April nominations

2 May 2019

The April nominations for the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two Manager of the Month award are:

Paul Cook (Wigan Athletic)

Wigan’s April fixture list threw up games against five promotion chasers. Cook’s side compiled a winning record to stay up. Their six matches yielded nine points and included a memorable comeback win at Leeds with ten men.

Graham Potter (Swansea City)

Full of verve and attacking intent, his side swept all before them to mount a late promotion charge. Their 16 points from seven games were matched by 16 goals as the Swans rediscovered the club’s trademark style of play.

Dean Smith (Aston Villa)

A second straight nomination for Smith whose Villa side simply kept on winning, adding five more victories to their March run and 16 points from six games. Handing Jack Grealish the captaincy may prove to be the defining masterstroke of his tenure.

Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)

While their automatic promotion rivals faltered, Wilder instilled a clarity of mind in his players that allowed them to ignore the glittering prize on offer and concentrate on collecting 14 points from six games. Job superbly done.

Brian Barry-Murphy (Rochdale)

Made his players believe they could put together a run of results that would drag them clear of the relegation places. Instilled the defensive confidence to keep four clean sheets and fully earned the manager’s job on a permanent basis.

Lee Bowyer (Charlton Athletic)

It would have been easy for him to allow his players to free-wheel towards the play-offs, but Bowyer still had eyes on automatic promotion. He drove his team on to win five of their six April games and almost achieve their goal.

Kenny Jackett (Portsmouth)

Lesser managers wouldn’t have been able to halt a lengthy New Year slide, maintain focus and belief in his players and trust his methods to work again. A Wembley triumph was followed by a 13-point haul from six April games.

Daniel Stendel (Barnsley)

Even as the two-headed juggernaut that was Portsmouth and Sunderland chased down his side’s second place, Stendel retained tunnel vision and focused solely on his team. Four wins from five games and automatic promotion say he succeeded.

Sol Campbell (Macclesfield Town)

Arrived in Cheshire with the remit of keeping Macclesfield in the EFL and the intention of sticking to his footballing principles. The task isn’t quite complete, but eight points from six games have inched his side towards safety.

Mark Cooper (Forest Green Rovers)

Timed his team’s momentum to perfection as Forest Green approach the play-offs on the back of four wins from five games and 10 goals scored. Crucially, they also showed the ability to win away at promotion rivals Tranmere.

Mike Flynn (Newport County)

April began with Flynn dismissing the play-off places as too far away. It ended with Newport roaring into them as his ability to raise his players’ performance levels shone through with 15 points from seven games and just one goal conceded.

Dino Maamria (Stevenage)

Surely wishes the season was five games longer given the form he has instilled in his team since the clocks went forward. A haul of 13 points from five unbeaten games included a vital 2-1 win at fellow promotion chasers Mansfield.

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