Sunderland and Middlesbrough duo Lee Johnson and Chris Wilder react after winning manager of month awards

Lee Johnson and Chris Wilder have won the manager of the month awards for League One and the Championship for December.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 6:00 am

Sunderland made the most of their six games with a 14-point haul to push them into the automatic promotion spots.

Johnson said: “It’s nice to win this award and my thanks goes out to all the players and staff at the football club, as it’s only possible with their unwavering commitment.

“I accept this award on behalf of those who have sacrificed in the special month of December for SAFC. Now, our focus quickly turns to Wycombe Wanderers this Saturday afternoon.”

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Lee Johnson with his award.

Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “Lee made the most of his squad in the busy December period and it paid dividends. 14 points from six games is no mean feat and takes them into the New Year in an automatic promotion place.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The little wobble they suffered in October seems to have been put firmly behind them, so for Lee Johnson and Sunderland, December could prove to be the month that they put some inconsistency behind them and started a sustained march towards promotion.

“Hugely convincing wins over Morecambe, Doncaster and Sheffield Wednesday added gloss to an unbeaten month where they opened a gap to the chasing pack and piled the pressure onto Wigan, who fell victim to several Covid postponements around Christmas.”

Chris Wilder with his award.

Meanwhile, Wilder said: “It’s been a real team effort. It’s been a great start and a terrific month for us. This is a nice reward for both the club and the fans, who have been fantastic. But we have to stay humble and keep working hard.”

Wilson added: “Packing games into a month for any team is difficult, especially over the festive period, but Chris’s team did so and returned 13 points from their five games conceding only one goal. Boro are very much in the play-off picture.”

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough wing-back Isaiah Jones has been named the Sky Bet Championship player of the month for December. Rotherham United midfielder Dan Barlaser won the League One award.

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