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Manager of the Month: February winners

12 March 2021

The winners of the Sky Bet EFL Manager of the Month Awards for February are...

Sky Bet Championship: Mick McCarthy (Cardiff City)

Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for February.

McCarthy has made an astounding impact in south Wales, re-igniting Cardiff’s promotion ambitions as they collected 19 points from a possible 21. His man-management skills were evident in his handling of mercurial, if fitful, midfielder Harry Wilson.

McCarthy said: “It’s a lovely feeling to have won this on the back of the unbeaten run we had through the month. It’s a reflection on the players, TC and the staff we have at the club. You don’t win these awards without them.

“The players have done everything we’ve asked of them and have responded really well. It’s a nice feeling for everyone at the club as it means we’ve been doing alright, doesn’t it?”

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

He said: “What a fantastic turn in fortunes Mick has overseen at Cardiff. 19 points from a possible 21 has them banging on the Play-Off positions’ door.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Although the Tony Pulis stint at Sheffield Wednesday didn’t work out as hoped, Neil Warnock, Chris Hughton & Mick McCarthy have highlighted that experience can be a virtue. Mick McCarthy has taken Cardiff from mid-table obscurity to the edge of the Play-Offs in just over a month in charge.

“He changed to a back three at half time v Barnsley in his first game in charge when they needed to chase a 2-0 deficit, drew 2-2 and haven’t looked back since! 

“The players say that it’s the simplicity of his message and the trust he’s instilled in them that has led to the turnaround and with two previous promotions from the Championship, whilst under-playing the possibility publicly, ‘Big Mick’ will be gunning for his hattrick.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Mick McCarthy’s Bluebirds have risen from 15th to 8th place since he took over from Neil Harris in January and now sit just two points off the Play-Off places.

“Early season struggles saw them drift to as big as 18/1 to make the top six, but thanks to their form under McCarthy, they are now into 2/1.

“McCarthy has reignited promotion hopes among Cardiff supporters and although finishing in the top six alone would be some achievement, the club priced at 10/1 to go up from 50/1 at the start of the month.”

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Sky Bet League One: Darren Ferguson (Peterborough United)

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for February. 

A perfect month of six wins saw Posh move to the top of League One. Their 15-3 goal differential in February was remarkable in that 12 of those goals were scored in the second half of games – a testimony to the fitness and belief he has instilled.

Ferguson said: “This award is for my staff and the players, they deserve it. It was a great month for us, to win all of the games that we had in the month, particularly this season with the amount of games, was excellent. It has put us in a decent position in the league and we just need to carry it on.”

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

He said: “A perfect February for Posh and Darren, with 18 points and a hatful of goals to put them in the pole position with games in hand.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “No manager has won this award more than Darren Ferguson’s five since 2013, which highlights his ability to get a tune out of his much changed Peterborough sides over that time. 

“Darren however, won’t be happy with a line of Manager of the Month awards on his shelf while the club are still searching for that elusive promotion that will take them and their talented side to the next level. February’s efforts put them in prime position.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Darren Ferguson guided Peterborough to six wins in six games during February as his side topped League One going into March.

“Posh were as short as evens to win the league after they defeated Wigan 2-0 to make it six wins on the bounce but after a couple of defeats in the last week they have now drifted out to 5/2 second favourites behind Hull (7/4 favs) who beat Posh 3-1 on Tuesday at London Road.

“We still rate Ferguson’s men highly and with a front three of Clarke-Harris, Dembele and Szmodics to call upon, it won’t be long until they are back on the winning trail again.

“They still have two games in hand on Hull as well at the top and we have them at 4/6 to be promoted this season from 13/8 at the start of February.”

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Sky Bet League Two: Ian Evatt (Bolton Wanderers)

Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for February.

Following a January in which Bolton shone in the transfer market more than on the pitch, Evatt shrewdly knitted his existing squad and new acquisitions together as Wanderers collected 16 points from six unbeaten games to become promotion contenders.

Evatt said: "It’s a reward for all of my staff for all the hard work we are putting in to prepare the players well and also it’s an acknowledgement for the players who are going out there and performing to the levels we expect.”

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

He said: “What a great set of results in February for Ian and his Bolton side. The team has rocketed into the top six with 16 from a possible 18 points, recorded at a very timely part of the season.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Having worked their way into Play-Off contention in November, Bolton slipped right down the league at the turn of the year, finding themselves all the way down in 19th position at the end of January.

“However, there was another huge turnaround in fortunes, with five wins and a draw in February to see them once again inside the Play-Off positions – and if they do go on and get promoted, February will go down as the pivotal month in which Ian Evatt found the key to getting the consistent performances he’s been after.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Ian Evatt’s Bolton side have now stretched their unbeaten run to ten games as they won five and drew their other game in February which saw them close the gap to the automatic promotion places to just four points.

“The Trotters have taken 26 points from a possible 30 available since fellow promotion chasers Tranmere defeated them in mid-January, with this run seeing their odds of being promoted back to League One tumble from 20/1 into the current price of 13/8.

“Evatt is getting his ideas across to the players and it’s been a remarkable turnaround in form this calendar year with Bolton now on their best run since 2006 in the days of Sam Allardyce.

“On the back of this run they are as short as 12/1 to win the title this season having been well supported at prices as big as 200/1 a month ago.”

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