Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez claims managerial prize
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has been crowned Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for October.
The Magpies completed the perfect month in October, recording five wins in the league, as well a League Cup last 16 clash a fortnight ago. In that time they conceded just two goals.
United started the month with Christian Atsu-inspired 1-0 win at Rotherham, before following that up with a comfortable 3-1 home victory over Brentford.
Next to the sword was Barnsley at Oakwell as Dwight Gayle grabbed a double, before Ipswich were beaten 3-0. The month was rounded off with a 2-1 win on the road at Deepdale.
Benitez's men also managed to see of Preston in the League Cup in emphatic fashion - hammering Simon Grayson's men 6-0 at St James' Park, thanks to goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic (2), Mo Diame (2), Matt Ritchie and Ayoze Perez.
And as a result Benitez was picked by the selection panel as the stand out gaffer in the second tier.
Although, the Spaniard passed the credit on to his staff at the club.
Benitez said: "I’m really pleased. As a manager when you win a trophy it means that your staff, your players, the people who work in the club, they are working very hard.
"So I think they also deserve this award and it’s important for everyone here."
Former Ipswich, Hearts, Scotland, Southampton and Crystal Palace boss George Burley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.
Of Benitez's award, he said: "Newcastle United were strong favourites for promotion before the season started and their 100% record in October has taken them to the top of the Championship.
"Rafa has built a squad which is now looking very formidable and has all the qualities required to regain their place in the Premier League."
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: "Rafa’s Newcastle team were unstoppable in October, bulldozing every team that was unfortunate enough to have to take them on!
"Eleven goals for and just two against tell the story of arguably the only team in this season’s Championship capable of pulling away from the rest."
The plaudits do not end with Benitez, though.
Ayoze Perez has also been nominated for October's Goal of the Month award.
His amazing team goal in the Ipswich victory, which saw all 11 Newcastle players involved from kick-off, without a single Tractor Boys player touching the ball, goes up against strikes from Norwich City's Wes Hoolahan and Aston Villa man Jonathan Kodjia.
Voting for the award is now open on skysports.com. It closes on Tuesday, with the winner announced next Friday.
Winners of the Sky Bet EFL Goals of the Month are chosen by a fan poll on skysports.com.
The shortlist for the poll is decided by a judging panel following suggestions from supporters via Twitter.