Sky Bet League One: Russell Slade, Joe Dunne, Dean Smith and Mark Warburton up for prize
Russell Slade, Joe Dunne, Dean Smith and Mark Warburton in the running for the League One Manager of the Month award.
Last Updated: 05/02/14 12:02pm
Leyton Orient boss Slade enjoyed an unblemished run through January, while Warburton guided Brentford to the top of the table, Smith took Walsall into the play-off pack and Dunne made Colchester United upwardly mobile.
Orient and Brentford also have contenders for the Player of the Month prize, in the form of defender Scott Cuthbert and forward Marcello Trotta, and the third tier's four-man shortlist is completed by Peterborough United striker Nicky Ajose and Rotherham United full-back James Tavernier.
The judging panel comprises Sky Sports' Football League expert Don Goodman, the Football League's Head of Communications John Nagle, League Managers' Association director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet's Head of Football Paul Wiggins.
The winners will be announced on Friday morning.
Here, Sky Sports considers more closely the managers in contention.
Joe Dunne (Colchester United)
The Irishman has quietly built an attacking side at Colchester. The U's picked up seven points from three games, which included convincing 3-0 and 4-2 wins over Gillingham and Carlisle United respectively, to move up the table.
Russell Slade (Leyton Orient)
Made astute transfer window signings to cover injuries in his squad and fitted the new arrivals in so seamlessly that Orient picked up a maximum 12 points from four matches, conceding just a solitary goal in the process.
Dean Smith (Walsall)
A difficult-looking January fixture list proved no barrier to an unbeaten month, the highlight being a 5-1 away win at Notts County. Has drawn consistency from his players which helped to lift Walsall into the play-off places.
Mark Warburton (Brentford)
He is making Sky Bet Football League management look easy, garnering another 13 points from five unbeaten matches in January. Has made a seamless transition into the job, quickly earning the respect of his players.
Sky Sports also takes a look at those in the mix to be named Player of the Month.
Nicky Ajose (Peterborough United)
Five goals in as many January games for the young forward on his return to the club. His sharpness around the box brought him a hat-trick in the 4-3 win over against Notts County, which included a superb swerving 25-yarder.
Scott Cuthbert (Leyton Orient)
Commanding in the air and strong in the tackle, the club captain was forced to cover at right-back. He adapted smoothly and proved a threat in the air from set pieces with goals in the wins over Shrewsbury Town and Carlisle United.
James Tavernier (Rotherham United)
The on-loan defender proved his versatility at both right-back and left-back. Nimble and solid defensively, he breaks forward quickly at every opportunity. He set up two goals in the 3-0 win at Shrewsbury Town, scoring the other himself.
Marcello Trotta (Brentford)
Has shown remarkable character after his final-day penalty miss last season. With three goals (including a penalty) and two assists, he was equally impressive for his all-round contribution as well as closing down from the front.