Wolves striker Leo Bonatini and Derby boss Gary Rowett scoop Sky Bet Championship October awards
Last Updated: 10/11/17 1:27pm
Derby County manager Gary Rowett has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for October.
October was the month in which Derby announced themselves as promotion contenders. Four wins from four earned Rowett's men a maximum 12 points, but it was the manner of the victories he inspired at Norwich and Leeds which impressed most.
Rowett said: "I think it's a nice honour for everyone at the club who's worked incredibly hard. It feels a little bit silly, me, getting the award on my own because of course it's a reflection of the whole staff that are working incredibly hard behind the scenes and of course the players that perform so well in the games.
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"It was a big month for us and it was a month that we needed to get us back up into contention. We were determined to find the right balance, which we didn't feel we'd found in the first period of games. We've shown a little bit more belief recently.
"Our aim has always been the same, to be around the top six positions, of course you want that to be the top two. Consistency is what every team is after and we're working very hard to achieve that."
Wolves striker Leo Bonatini has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for October after scoring in every league match.
Bonatini said: "It's very good to be the Player of the Month, but it's better to be on the top of the league with my team-mates.
"I worked very strong on the pre-season to arrive here and play well and be ready to play and the life here is very good, the food is good and my team-mates are helping me a lot, since my first day here. I think it's easier when you arrive in a place and you feel that you are at home you feel like they want to help you and enjoy the experiences with you, so I want to say thank you to my team-mates."
Sky Bet League One
Manager: Paul Cook, Wigan Athletic
Cook led his side through an unbeaten October, collecting 11 points from 15 along the way. Allied to their attractive passing style, the away wins at Scunthorpe and Blackpool also demonstrated his team's willingness to battle.
Cook said: "I'm delighted to be awarded the Manager of the Month, it's a great accolade not only for the manager, I think it's a club award.
"I think our success is down to repetition on the training ground and going onto the pitch knowing your jobs and believing in what you're doing, and hopefully, even when you have setbacks - we went a goal down at Blackpool early on in the game - you're believing in what you're doing, which will see you home."
Player: Graham Carey, Plymouth Argyle
Carey did it all in October to drag Argyle out of their early season slump, either setting up or scoring all of his side's five goals. Added to spectacular strikes against Shrewsbury and Blackburn were delightful crosses and superb jinking runs among his three assists.
Carey said: "It's a testament to the form we've been showing as a team and me individually as well, so I'm really happy. I'm not afraid to shoot really, the manager gives me the green light to take on shots and recently they've gone in so long may that continue.
"Everyone in the team is important, we've started slowly, including me, my form at the start of the season wasn't great but now we're starting to pick up and I'm playing a bit more of a wider position, with a bit more freedom and license to attack. We're on a good run at the minute but we still have a long way to go."
Sky Bet League Two
Manager: Nathan Jones, Luton Town
Jones has built a side full of attacking intent, as shown by their 13-5 goal differential in collecting 10 points from five games.
Jones said: "I'm very proud, I know people say it every time they win but this is recognition not just for my work but for the work of the coaching staff and all the team and everyone associated with the football club. It's nice to have it, it's my first one and I'm very proud to have it.
"Our goal is promotion; our goal is automatic promotion. It was the same last year and we were just one place out and this year we have to go one better. It's not pressure that anyone else is putting on us, it's pressure we're putting on ourselves. We believe we've got the tools to achieve that but so do a lot of other clubs in the league.
"I said it slightly tongue in cheek, but not tongue in cheek that I want to be the best manager in the world and nothing changes. That is what you have to strive for if you want to achieve as much as you can. There's a long way to go before that happens, but with hard work and the right opportunities, who's to say that you can't achieve your goals."
Player: Tom Pope, Port Vale
Pope took it upon himself to transform Vale's dismal start to the season, scoring six and making one of his side's eight goals in five games. Two trademark headers were complemented by bulldozing runs and finishes as well as close range strikes.
Pope said: "It's always good to win these awards but it's a team game. Football's about what you win as a team, you can have as many Player of the Month trophies as you want at home, but never have a promotion so it's great personally, but I'd swap it for a league winners medal.
"I just think the whole team improved and supported me a lot better in October. They got the ball out wide and put plenty of crosses in and that's what I thrive off. I think the team's performances over the last month have improved and we've been able to get a few more chances for me to put away."