Royals gaffer in the running for September gongAfter a September which saw Reading take 10 points in the Championship and progress to the fourth round of the EFL Cup, our gaffer Jaap Stam has been named in a four-man shortlist for the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award.
The month started in fine fashion in front of the Sky cameras when Ipswich visited on a Friday evening – Danny Williams struck a late, late penalty to claim all three points at the expense of the Tractor Boys, moving Reading into third in the table overnight.
That was followed up later in the month with a couple of wins at Barnsley and Brighton in league and cup, each with just 10 men on the pitch for most of the game after first-half dismissals, as well as a 1-0 win against the league leaders Huddersfield at Madejski Stadium.
As ever, there are some other strong contenders for the monthly gong. Here are the other three managers who are in the running…
Rafa Benitez (Newcastle United)
Former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager Benitez has hoisted the Toon up to third in the table in a productive month – that included a 6-0 demolition of QPR in West London, and the most dramatic of 4-3 wins against Norwich, with two goals in stoppage time.
Carlos Carvahal (Sheffield Wednesday)
Portuguese boss Carvalhal, whose Owls side were defeated in last year’s play-off finals, guided his team to just outside the play-off positions at the end of September with four wins from five Championship fixtures – all by a one-goal margin.
Alex Neil (Norwich City)
After suffering relegation from the Premier League last season, Neil is making a fist of getting the Canaries back to the big time. Four straight wins in September had them top of the table, until they fell to two late goals to lose 4-3 in Newcastle at the end of the month.
The judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports’ EFL League expert Don Goodman; EFL Marketing Director Drew Barrand, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery.
The winners of all the monthly awards from across the three EFL divisions will be announced at 6am on Friday 7th October.