EFL Awards Results

THE winners of the Sky Bet EFL Manager and Player of the Month Awards for November have been announced and Argyle duo Ryan Lowe and Antoni Sarcevic miss out on this occasion.

Sky Bet Championship: Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United)

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for November.

It was a perfect November for Bielsa with five wins out of five as Leeds moved ominously to the top of the Championship table by month’s end.

The fitness and pressing game he demands helped secure an impressive 11-2 goal differential.

Bielsa said: “To recognise the manager is one way to recognise everybody who is helping the team and more than help, having some impact and influence on the team, but of course what's more important is the input of the players.

“We know that every team has different periods in the competition when you are better and worse, but it's no coincidence [the award] comes at the moment of the competition when Leeds have a high impact."

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

He said: “Marcelo and his Leeds team have certainly turned the heat up on their Championship promotion rivals over the last few weeks.

“Marcelo has maintained that really rewarding high-tempo game we have been accustomed to when watching his team.

“With WBA and Fulham still hot on their heels, Leeds really have the bit between their teeth, and the upcoming festive fixtures promise to be exciting and intriguing in equal measure.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The enigmatic Argentine continues to prove that his less than conventional training methods are an inspiration to his team as they continue their brilliance where it matters, on a match day.

“Bielsa’s charges recorded five wins from five in November, shipping just two goals in the process, and along with West Bromwich Albion, have cemented themselves as Championship front-runners as we approach the busy Christmas period.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds come out as far and away the best team in the division on all of the important shot metrics, including expected goals and we have them as short as 4/6 with us to win the title (from 6/4 at the start of the month).

“We make them 1/10 to be promoted back to the top flight for the first time in 15 years – from 4/9 at the start of November.”

Sky Bet League One: Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe Wanderers)

Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for November. 

Masterminding an early season surge into contention is one thing, sustaining it to carve out a five-point lead at the top entering December is quite another.

Ainsworth’s side picked up 10 points from four games without conceding a goal.

Ainsworth said: “It’s a really proud moment to receive this award and for us as a club to be recognised for how we’ve been performing this season.

“I know the award is for the manager, but it’s really for the whole team of staff around me who deserve the credit too.

“We had a great month, with some tough games, but to collect 10 points without conceding a goal was a fantastic return, and we played some really good football along the way too.

“Thank you to the panel who chose us to win the award and now we’re looking forward to getting back into action on Saturday after a long break with no game.”

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

He said: “What an achievement for Gareth and Wycombe, especially considering the resources available to them.

“Forty points at this stage of the season is promotion form in anyone’s eyes, even though I’m sure Gareth won’t want to say it at the moment.

“Speculation around Gareth’s future earlier in the season may have derailed some clubs but his determination to push Wycombe as far as possible has certainly galvanised the team and club even more.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The Chairboys’ unbeaten league run now stretches back to mid-September, testament to the job long-term manager Gareth Ainsworth is doing at Adams Park this season.

“Wycombe’s stinginess at the back and determination to keep clean sheets is the envy of Sky Bet League One at present, with none of their four November opponents able to find the net.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “The EFL’s longest serving manager guided Wycombe to a near-perfect record in November to leave them four points clear of Ipswich at the top of League One.

“We still make Ipswich 9/4 favourites to win the league but The Chairboys are into 5/1 second-favourites from 25/1 at the start of the month -  and are now 13/8 to be promoted.”

Sky Bet League Two: Richie Wellens (Swindon Town)

Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for November.

Wellens’ side were fifth at the start of November, but a perfect three wins from three matches, scoring six goals in the process, lifted them impressively to the top of League Two and stretched their winning streak to five games.

Wellens said: “The most important thing for us in November was going unbeaten. I was frustrated to go out of the cup but in the league, we had a good run and had some good results against good sides.

“Monthly awards don’t mean too much to me because it’s only one month in the season – you could be rubbish the rest of it. We just want to take this run into the rest of December.”

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

He said: “November was a great month for Richie, his team and the Swindon faithful.

“In October, they struggled with a lot of injuries to key players, but they now look to be getting players back and hitting some rhythm.

“Richie and his experienced staff (including Paul Jewell) will know It's too early for predictions but will take great comfort knowing they are on the front foot and their hard work is paying off.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “With four wins from four, the month could have hardly gone better for the Robins. Ritchie Wellens’ outfit are surpassing expectations at every turn, as they find themselves in pole position to claim their second Sky Bet League Two title of the decade. 

“Swindon may not traditionally be a name synonymous with goals, but with two Town players currently leading the division’s scoring charts, that looks like a thing of the past.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Wellens oversaw wins in all three league games in November as The Robins returned to the top of the League Two.

“In a really competitive division, we make Swindon 7/4 favourites for the title - from 13/2 at the start of November.

“We have kept them onside for a few months now and with the three automatic promotion places available we have them as short as 4/11 to be promoted to League One.”

The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Barnsley manager Danny Wilson, Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.

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

Sky Bet Championship: Jarrod Bowen (Hull City)

Hull City striker Jarrod Bowen has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for November.

Bowen proved his worth and increased his transfer value again with four goals and two assists as Hull climbed into the top half of the table.

His combination play with Kamil Grosicki stood out as he scored twice against Preston.

Hull City manager Grant McCann said: “We’re all delighted for him. He’s been phenomenal over the last couple of months in terms of what he’s done in games, his goals and his performances in general have been top class.

“He’s been a pleasure to work with since we came into the building – every day, his appetite, the way he wants to learn and get better.”   

Bowen said: “I’m delighted. Personal accolades are really good because it shows what you’ve been doing. It’s a massive honour to win such an award.

“Personally, the month went well. I’ve been scoring goals, got a couple of assists. The team have been a bit inconsistent but we’re not halfway through the season yet.

“We need to cut that out and keep performing the way we have been most weeks and turn those draws and losses into wins.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The Sky Bet Championship is littered with exciting players, but one of the most exciting has to be Hull City’s 22-year-old prodigy who has had the KCOM Stadium purring in recent weeks.

“The goal-getting talisman is the name on everyone’s lips at the moment, and justifiably so. Bowen is in the form of his young career, with four goals in November adding to his impressive tally.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Bowen had another fine month in November, adding four goals to put himself joint-top of the scoring charts alongside Aleksandar Mitrovic with 15 for the season.

“The Fulham hitman is still favourite for the golden boot but we have cut Bowen from 6/1 at the start of the month to the clear 3/1 second-favourite, as he looks to spearhead Hull’s push to the Play-Off places.”

Sky Bet League One: Joe Jacobson (Wycombe Wanderers)

Wycombe Wanderers defender Joe Jacobson has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for November. 

The left-back made a stunning impact in November, as a pivotal member of a defence which recorded four clean sheets in as many games.

Wycombe’s four goals also came through him with two penalties and two pinpoint free-kick assists.

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth said: “Joe is one of the most humble guys I know. He’s been playing some of the best football of his career, and I’m really proud to have been able to give him five years at this club to enjoy longevity and be part of the culture that we’ve created.

“He’s been a phenomenal left-back for us throughout that time, and in particular this season, he’s showed what a threat his left foot can be with many brilliant assists and important goals, alongside the 11 clean sheets we’ve been able to pick up, and he thoroughly deserves his award.”

Jacobson said: “It’s a real honour to win this award and it’s something I always hoped I might achieve at some point during my career.

“ I think the whole team has had a fantastic season so far – everyone knows their jobs, works hard for each other, and it seems to be working.

“Last month I think you could have given this award to any of our defenders or goalkeeper because we’ve been really proud of our defensive record, not conceding a goal for quite some time now, but it’s a special accolade for me to collect the trophy and I’m proud to have played my part in helping the team at both ends of the pitch.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Wycombe’s skipper took November firmly by the scruff of the neck, leading his side to a healthy lead at the very top of the Sky Bet League One table.

“The left-back contributed to a perfect slate of four clean sheets, as well as proving his worth from dead ball situations, firing home two penalties and coming up with a pair of free-kick assists for his grateful teammates.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Jacobson was in outstanding form during November, as a part of a mean defence that kept four clean sheets in as many games.

“He’s a huge 150/1 to win the Golden Boot despite being the league leader’s joint top scorer with six goals..”

Sky Bet League Two: Eoin Doyle (Swindon Town)

Swindon Town striker Eoin Doyle has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for November. 

Three more games, four more goals, the scoring machine shows no sign of grinding to a halt.

Doyle’s contribution was invaluable once more as he allied an acute positional sense and cold-bloodedness in front of goal to send Swindon top.

Doyle said: “It’s obviously great to win again. To be honest, the players around me make me look good. If you look at pretty much all of my goals this season, they’re tap-ins!

“The service here is the best in the league, we create a lot of chances and it just happens to be me on the end of them.

“Jerry Yates does a lot of work and has scored some great goals recently but we have hard work and quality all over the pitch.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “His second Player of the Month award in as many months, and this one just as deserved as the last.

“The 31-year-old frontman’s record is nothing short of extraordinary and, remarkably, Doyle is showing no signs of slowing down.

“The striker bagged four goals in three November games for Swindon, adding to his league-leading tally, and there doesn’t appear to be a ceiling on the amount of goals he can get this season. Records could tumble!”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “On-fire Swindon striker Eoin Doyle picks up his second consecutive League Two Player of the Month award, after taking his total to 18 goals so far on the season.

“This saw his price contract from evens at the start of November to 1/3 to finish the season with the League Two Golden Boot.”

The judging panel for the Sky Bet Player of the Month comprises Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.