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Sky Bet EFL Manager and Player of the Month: August winners

13 September 2022

The winners of the Sky Bet EFL Manager of the Month Awards for August are:

Sky Bet Championship: Paul Heckingbottom (Sheffield United)

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for August.

What began in late winter has continued into summer with Heckingbottom leading the Blades to the head of the Championship.

Their opening seven games brought 14 points and an equally impressive 14 goals to a resurgent Bramall Lane.

Heckingbottom said: “August has been tough with seven league games and a cup fixture, but we have made an encouraging start thanks to the hard work and commitment of everyone associated with the club.

“There’s been some challenges, but it has been a team effort, including players, staff and supporters and hopefully we can build on it in the coming months.”

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

He said: “An impressive run of consistency saw Paul and his United team push themselves to the Championship summit with a very strong performance over Reading who were sitting top, prior to their fixture.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The Blades have been massively impressive at the start of this campaign, particularly when you consider the disappointment they went through last May, losing at the Play-Off semi-final stage.

“Paul Heckingbottom deserves plenty of plaudits for the way he’s got that instant spark back into his group of players, most of whom suffered last May.

“They averaged two goals per game in August, and that’s the kind of form that could secure a Premier League return if they can keep firing.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “After missing out in the Play-Off semi-finals last term, Heckingbottom has wasted little time in reassembling his troops with automatic promotion surely the aim this time around.

“The Blades’ 4-0 demolition of Reading rounded of a tremendous August, which saw them accumulate 14 points and register three clean sheets in the process.

“United were 10/1 shots for the title in July but are now vying for favouritism with Norwich at the head of the market and looked nailed on for another top six finish with very skinny 1/4 quotes on offer.”

Sky Bet League One: Danny Cowley (Portsmouth)

Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for August.

His summer re-shuffling of the squad has done wonders for Cowley’s Pompey who looked energised and focused during August as they collected 13 points from five unbeaten matches with an emphatic 10-2 goal differential to move top.

Cowley said: “This is an award for the whole club and I firstly want to congratulate the players for the consistency of their performances.

“The staff have also been selfless in the way they have worked to support and challenge the players, so they can be the best they can be.

“Also, of course, there is our supporters who have been able to influence our performances and, consequently, positively affect the outcome of our games.

“It’s always lovely to see people achieve the results that their hard work deserves. Now, as a football club, we’re looking forward to the challenges that September brings.”

Danny Cowley.jpg

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

He said: “August saw Pompey go unbeaten to endorse their credentials as one of the promotion candidates in League One.

“After a rapid turnaround of personnel in his squad, Danny has certainly got his players to gel very quickly with great results to back him up.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “No stranger to manager of the month awards over the years, Danny Cowley is seemingly working his magic again, and Pompey benefitted hugely in the month of August.

“After five unbeaten games and a string of great performances, promotion dreams have once again begun to ignite on the south coast and so they should.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Danny will be the first to call out the efforts of his brother and assistant Nicky, alongside the rest of his backroom team who have collectively led Pompey to the top of the League One tree in August.

“Chalked up at 14/1 in pre-season, Cowley’s side embarked on a four-game winning streak that saw them score 10 goals and concede just twice, stats which proved crucial in edging out rivals Ipswich for top spot heading into September.

“Pompey have more than halved in price since and are now 6/1 to be crowned League One champions in May.”

Sky Bet League Two: Richie Wellens (Leyton Orient)

Leyton Orient manager Richie Wellens has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for August.

Wellens is quietly rebuilding his managerial reputation in style in east London, creating a side that is easy on the eye and determined in front of goal.

Their prize for earning 13 points from five unbeaten games was top spot in League Two.

Wellens said: "We've found different ways to win matches. We still want more though, we want more possession in our game. At the minute, we look really dangerous going forward and solid defensively."

"As nice it is to win the award, I think that it should be management of the month, not manager. I have a great team around me. Paul Terry and Matt Harrold are a joy to be around, our medical team, our analysts, everyone. They all contribute massively to the success of this team."

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

He said: “Leyton Orient sit proudly at the top of League Two after an unbeaten run in August which saw them collect 13 points from a possible 15.

“Richie will play down the league position at this early stage, but they have certainly thrown a marker down very early.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Leyton Orient are becoming a lovely team to watch, and the results are flowing for Richie Wellens’ side.

“They were unbeaten during August and excellent value for their lofty position in Sky Bet League Town. Scored most goals and conceded the fewest, the signs are good.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Wellens replaced Kenny Jackett last March with the O’s languishing just three points above the drop zone but the turnaround since has been quite remarkable.

“After short spells at Salford and Doncaster, Wellens has overseen a summer of new arrivals as he looks to emulate his Swindon success, where he led the club to the League Two title on a points-per-game-basis during the 2019-20 campaign.

“Orient were 16/1 to win the division before a ball was kicked but four wins from five in August sees them top the standings with a plus 8-goal difference for good measure.

“New recruits Charlie Kelman, Idris El Mizouni and George Moncur have settled in quickly and Orient are now best priced 9/2 with Sky Bet to win the league.”

Richie Wellens.jpg

The winners of the Sky Bet EFL Player of the Month Awards for August are:

Sky Bet Championship: Óscar Estupiñán (Hull City)

Hull City striker Óscar Estupiñán has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for August.

An arch old-school poacher, the Colombian’s seven goals in six games added up to a combined distance of 33 yards.

If they were rarely things of beauty, their value was priceless to Hull, the division’s second lowest scorers last season.

Estupiñán said: “Firstly, I should say that I am extremely happy and proud to win this prize. It is a prize that reflects the teamwork, starting from the goalkeeper up to the attacking players, and the manager.

“I am surprised with the amount of goals I’ve scored! My teammates are the ones who have enabled me to have chances to score that amount of goals. This is a prize for the whole team.” 

Head coach Shota Arveladze commented: “First of all, it has been a great start for Óscar. I’ve been very impressed with how he’s adapted to the Championship and I hope he will continue this form.

“Second, we should thank all the boys in the team for giving him this opportunity. I hope to see this more often – a Hull City player winning an award.”

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Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “If August is anything to go by, then Hull have bagged themselves an out and out predator in Óscar Estupiñán.

“Seven goals in six appearances is a phenomenal effort for anyone but when you consider we’re talking about a new player in a new team, a new league and a new country, it’s an astounding effort.

Hull’s biggest problem last season was a serious lack of goals but in Estupiñán, they may have just solved that problem.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “The Colombian striker was one of Hull’s big summer signings after netting 15 times in the Portuguese top flight last season.

Estupiñán has made the transition looks seamless and is showing a real liking for the Championship with braces against promotion hopefuls Norwich and West Brom and a fine hat trick in Hull’s 3-2 victory over Coventry.

“An unconsidered 33/1 chance in the top goalscorer market after joining the Tigers, he’s averaging a goal every 89 minutes so far this term and quickly making a mockery of those early odds! Keeping him fit and scoring will be key to Hull’s success this season.”

Sky Bet League One: Liam Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday)

Sheffield Wednesday wing back Liam Palmer has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for August.  

A momentous month for Palmer who made his 350th appearance for Wednesday, helped preserve four clean sheets and took his career goal tally from four to six, a fitting reward for his heart-warming charity work over the summer.

Wednesday manager Darren Moore said: “I’m really pleased that Liam has won, and deservedly so. 

“He’s had a fantastic start to the season and to be recognised shows the wonderful work he’s done.

“He’s put a lot of hard work in and he’s really playing some good football at the moment.”

Palmer said: “I’m really pleased and didn’t expect it at all. 

“There have been a lot of great nominees so it’s really nice to win.

“It’s nice to win an individual award, all I want to do is work hard for the team and get three points on a Saturday!”

Liam Palmer.jpg

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “A stalwart of the club found some serious form in August, helping Sheffield Wednesday to a strong start with a couple of goals and contributions to a handful of clean sheets.

“After more than 350 appearances for the Owls, Liam Palmer is proving he’s still a vital cog for the South Yorkshire side in what has to be their quest for automatic promotion.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Is there a better way to mark your 350th appearance for the club with a goal, the captain’s armband and a clean sheet?

“That’s exactly what Liam Palmer did as Sheffield Wednesday’s triumphed 2-0 at Bolton in August.

“It was a momentous month for Palmer, not only did he net in the thumping of Forest Green a week later, but the versatile defender also helped the Owls keep four clean sheets as the Hillsborough side consolidated their title credentials.

“Wednesday are now 7/2 to win League One and 10/11 to earn promotion to the Championship.”

Sky Bet League Two: Sam Hoskins (Northampton Town)

Northampton Town striker Sam Hoskins has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for August. 

Hoskins did it all in August, scoring five of Northampton’s eight goals from all angles, including an impudent free-kick at Crawley and straight from a corner at Crewe, and set up another with his boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Northampton manager Jon Brady said: “This award is a fantastic recognition of the quality and impact of Sam's performances.

"He is an important member of the squad both on and off the field. He is a senior player in the dressing room, he is a fantastic role model for the younger players to look up to and his performances have shown that he leads by example.

"Sam is a wonderfully loyal servant to the club who is quickly making his way up both the club's all-time appearance makers and top goalscorers lists and he fully deserves the accolades his performances are bringing him."

Hoskins said: “We have made a good start to the season as a team and personally I am very proud to pick up the award.

"While I am delighted with my goal tally so far, the team's fortunes are always the most important thing and we are pleased with how things have gone in the first month of the season. Our challenge is to try and continue that progress.

"Personally, I ended last season in decent form and that has carried over into this season which I am obviously very pleased about."

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It’s hard to ignore goals, and Sam Hoskins was right amongst them in August, bagging five of Northampton’s eight over the course of the month.

“The Cobblers are nestled nicely in the Play-Off spots at this early stage, and their number seven has been an absolutely key player, who they must keep fit.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Now entering his eighth full season as a Northampton player Hoskins is well on course to smash his seasonal best tally of 13 goals, with the Cobblers ace netting five times in the month of August.

“All five strikes came on the road, earning a point at Grimsby while braces at Crawley and Crewe followed as Northampton look to put last season’s final day heartbreak firmly behind them.

“Hoskins was a relatively unfancied 40/1 longshot in the top goalscorer market with Sky Bet in the summer but now justifies favouritism at 7/2 after his excellent start to the campaign."

Sam Hoskins.jpg

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