League One Manager and Player of the Month shortlists announced
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 06/04/16 7:17am
Paul Heckingbottom has been recognised for steering Barnsley back into play-off contention after being nominated for the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for March.
The Tykes boss, who was also nominated in February, is in his second spell as caretaker boss and has earned his players' trust and respect, as shown by the 13 points won from six games in March, including four clean sheets.
He is joined in the nominations by Rochdale's Keith Hill, Colchester boss Kevin Keen and Walsall's Jon Whitney.
Hill oversaw four straight wins for his side in March, including derby successes over Bury and Oldham Athletic, to lift Rochdale back into the promotion picture.
Keen's Colchester remain in the bottom four of the division, but a win at promotion-chasing Bradford City and a draw against Wigan Athletic underpinned a month which saw 10 points gained from six games.
Whitney was only in charge of Walsall for three games in March following the departure of Sean O'Driscoll and carries the title of performance coach-turned-interim head coach, but his impact on the promotion hopefuls was immediate - three wins over Chesterfield, Fleetwood and Colchester to restore the confidence.
The Player of the Month nominations include Nathan Clarke of Bradford, Burton's Mark Duffy, Wigan striker Will Grigg and Shrewsbury midfielder Sullay Kaikai.
Initially signed as cover, centre-back Clarke has provided invaluable experience at the heart of City's defence. He helped coax a number of partners in central defence to three clean sheets in his six games and he had an impact in attack too, with two assists in the month.
Winger Duffy was a constant threat to opposing defences and he supplemented his superb delivery from the flanks with two fine goals against Fleetwood and another in the 4-0 win at Port Vale.
Meanwhile, poacher Grigg helped Wigan spearhead their title push with four goals in six games, including a dramatic late equaliser in the 3-3 draw at Colchester United.
Kaikai's huge impact at Shrewsbury has also been recognised. The midfielder scored five goals in five games after re-joining on loan from Crystal Palace, one as a second-half substitute, to help Shrewsbury's climb out of the bottom four.
League One Manager of the Month nominees: Paul Heckingbottom, Keith Hill, Kevin Keen and Jon Whitney.
League One Player of the Month nominees: Nathan Clarke, Mark Duffy, Will Grigg and Sullay Kaikai.