The results in the first month in the Sky Bet Championship could hardly have gone better for Veljko Paunović, his staff and the Royals squad. Three wins from three in September… not to mention following up with another win against October to kick off the new month!
And as a consequence, Pauno has been named on a four-man shortlist for the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for September 2020.
Six goals scored, just one conceded, nine points taken from nine available – two tough away days at Derby and Cardiff, as well as a patient triumph against a battling Barnsley side. An eye-catching start to the campaign.
It’s a team effort... and that’s what Pauno has said from the moment of his arrival. But these awards always put the manager on the pedestal – and a perfect start to the campaign has rightly been recognised for Paunović and his Reading team in his first month as a manager in England.
As usual, there’s stiff competition for the monthly prize. These are the other four names on the shortlist:
Steve Cooper (Swansea City)
Despite losing in the play-offs last year, the Swans have made another good start to the new season – Preston and Wycombe both defeated, and a draw with Birmingham to amass seven points in the first month.
Dean Holden (Bristol City)
The only other side with a perfect return from September – newly-appointed Holden took over from Lee Johnson in the summer, and masterminded wins over Coventry, Stoke and Sheffield Wednesday.
Jason Tindall (Bournemouth)
Like Holden, Tindall stepped up from his assistant position to take the top job this summer. His side beat Blackburn and drew with Middlesbrough, before ending the month with a win over fellow-relegated side Norwich.
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 three divisional awards for Player of the Month and Manager of the Month will be announced on Friday 9th October.