The winner of the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for December is...
Sky Bet Championship: Thomas Frank (Brentford)
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for December.
Adjusting to life in a new stadium after a Play-Off final defeat and without Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma has not been easy, but Frank’s constant message to his team paid off in December with 18 points from eight difficult fixtures.
Frank said: “This award is one for the team. No Manager or Head Coach will win an award like this without a great team of staff and players going in the same direction. I think that is my job, to ensure everyone is pulling together, and I am delighted that, as a team, we have won this award.
“We played nine games in December and were unbeaten. That is a fantastic achievement. Across the whole of Europe, no team has played more games than Brentford this season. It takes a big effort from everyone to continue to perform to such a high level and everyone should be really proud.”
Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.
He said: “A splendid run in December saw Brentford unbeaten in their 8 games scoring 16 goals. The team rounded off with a great win against table toppers Norwich.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The 2020/21 campaign got off to a tricky start for the Bees, as they attempted to regroup from their Wembley defeat, but things are looking significantly rosier for Brentford after a strong showing in a crucial part of the season.
“Frank has his troops singing from the same hymn sheet, and they were superb on the approach to the festive period, dropping just three points in eight testing December fixtures.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Thomas Frank’s Brentford side went undefeated in December winning five games and drawing the other three to put the 9/2 preseason favourites for the Sky Bet Championship firmly back in automatic promotion contention.
“It looks to be a three-way shoot-out for the title between Norwich at 13/8, Bournemouth at 5/2 and Frank’s Brentford at 11/4 (from 6/1 at the start of the month).”
The winner of the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month award for December is...
Sky Bet Championship: Duncan Watmore (Middlesbrough)
Middlesbrough striker Duncan Watmore has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for December.
The 26-year-old was the division’s leading scorer in the month with five goals in less than 400 minutes on the pitch. Injuries left him without a club before joining Boro in November, but his ability to convert chances is still present.
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The purpose of taking a short-term contract in the middle of a campaign is to prove your worth, and you won’t see a finer example than Duncan Watmore.
“The frontman has only been at Boro since November, but his impact has been immediate. More established strikers were left in his wake during December, as he led the league with his five goals – a feat that has deservedly earned him a new contract at the Riverside.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Duncan Watmore scored an impressive five goals in eight appearances for Middlesbrough during December.
“Boro sit just outside the Play-Offs in seventh place and are 7/1 to be promoted this season in what would be a record breaking ninth promotion for manager Neil Warnock.
“Watmore was given a short term contract by the Middlebrough boss in November and has repaid the faith shown in him and is already Boro’s highest scorer this season with the five goals he got last month.
“Everyone at Boro will be hoping the former Sunderland man can stay fit and spearhead their promotion charge for the remainder of the season.”