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League One

Sky Bet League One: December Manager and Player of the Month winners

10 January 2020

The winners of the Sky Bet League One Manager and Player of the Month for December are:


Manager: John Coleman (Accrington Stanley)

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for December. 

Never one to panic over a poor run, Coleman trusts the methods which continue to serve him and Stanley well, collecting 11 points from five unbeaten games, including a stunning 4-1 victory over improving Portsmouth.

Coleman said: "It is a feather in the cap for the team, they are the ones who win it really as the results are down to them.

"As management staff, we take a small part as we work with them on a daily basis but it is really a team effort.

"To do any damage in this league, you have to win this trophy maybe two or three times. Winning it once in isolation is not good enough if you want to do something in this league.

"You have to have two or three really good months and if I win it twice more in the first part of 2020 it means we are doing well!"

Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “Accrington had a magical December with a return of 11 points from five games - no mean feat after a really tough run of losses.

“With all his experience, John has never faltered from his management style, nor has he panicked and always retains a great belief in his methods.

“He had the ability to turn the run of defeats around, which is always more difficult when you are facing the threat of relegation.

“John has defied the odds and got Accrington into the pack of teams just below mid table.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Already an Accrington Stanley icon, John Coleman continues to flex his managerial know-how at this level, deep into his second spell at the club.

“Stanley enjoyed a fantastic December, going undefeated and claiming four crucial wins as they began to climb the Sky Bet League One ladder.

“There’s still a long way to go for Coleman’s troops, but this expert navigation of a tricky period has set the club in great stead.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “John Coleman’s Accrington continue to punch above their weight in League One and their December record helped to stave off any fears of relegation.

“They are as big as 80/1 now having been one of the favourites at 2/1 for relegation at the start of the season.

“Stanley sit in 17th place, but due to the competitive nature of League One they are only seven points off the Play-Offs and will be hoping they can carry on the good form they showed in December to push themselves into contention.”

Alex Gilbey.jpg

Player: Alex Gilbey (MK Dons)

MK Dons midfielder Alex Gilbey has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for December. 

MK’s improvement in December was due in no small part to the calm elegance with which Gilbey bestrode their midfield.

His three goals in five games featured a 20-yard curler at Doncaster and a delightful chip against Portsmouth.

MK Dons manager Russell Martin said: “I’m absolutely delighted for Alex and I’m delighted for us because he’s been excellent.

“He’s given us a massive improvement in terms of end product, we all know he’s capable of it, but he’s starting to show it.

“It’s down to the application he’s giving us in both training and matches – he’s been excellent since we took over. He’s taken every bit of information on, some of his goals have been outstanding, but his general play has been outstanding too.

“I’m really pleased for him and the team, because it’s a team effort. The team have to function properly and everyone has to do their jobs, which is why we had a picture together, that shows what we’re trying to build here and Alex is the first person who will thank his team mates for helping him get the award.”

Gilbey said: “ I’m over the moon to win the award and it’s a really proud moment for me, I’m chuffed – now it’s looking to build upon this and go again for the rest of the season.

“I’m thankful to the rest of the team as well, we’ve been really good of late and in December we were very good. It’s time to build upon it now, win more games and climb the table.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It’s been a difficult campaign for MK Dons thus far, but Alex Gilbey has undoubtedly stood out.

“The 25-year-old was bang in form during December, netting three times from midfield during a much-needed run of points for his club.

“His goal against Gillingham, flooded with individual brilliance, was worthy of any league in the world, and there seems to be plenty more to come from the talented midfielder.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Midfielder Alex Gilbey was in outstanding form for MK Dons in December as he helped his side pick up three wins and two draws to give themselves a real chance of staying up.

“The Dons were as short as evens for relegation at one point, but are now 4/1 as they look to stay in League One in their first season back.”

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