Who will be the top player, manager?
With March complete we're heading towards the final straight of another npower League One season and now it is time to reward this month’s standout performers, both in the dugout and on the pitch.
April, with the final decision being made by two separate Football League judging panels.thFootball League sponsors npower are proud to reveal the nominations for both the npower League One Manager and Player of the Month Awards for March. The winners will be announced on Friday.12
The Manager of the Month award is decided by former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley, Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson, League Managers Association Deputy CEO Olaf Dixon andKaty Thomas, npower Partnerships and Sponsorships Manager.The Player of the Month panel sees Katy Thomas joined by Wolves legend Don Goodman, BBC Sport’s Mark Clemmit and The Football League’s Head of Communications, John Nagle.
The nominations for the npower League 1 Manager of the Month Award for March are:
Russell Slade – Leyton Orient
With a total of seven fixtures played, Russell Slade negotiated his O's through a tricky period, collecting 14 points in March. With just one defeat, Leyton Orient finished the month just outside of the Play-Offs with five games to play.
Dean Smith – Walsall
Though he may have wanted more wins, four draws and two wins ensured an undefeated month for Dean Smith and his Walsall side. Finishing the month four points adrift of the Play-Offs fans of The Saddlers will be hoping this "hard to beat" mantra can steer them to a shot at promotion.
Guy Whittingham – Portsmouth
It's been a tough season for Pompey fans, but the performance of the team in March certainly gives hope for the future. While relegation may still remain the most likely outcome for Pompey, just one loss in six games suggests that they will be up for the fight right until the end.
The nominations for the npower League 1 Player of the Month Award for March are:
Paul Huntington (Preston North End) – central defender
The former Newcastle youngster has been a revelation since new manager Simon Grayson came to Deepdale, using his giant frame to dominate opponents and bringing a strong physical presence to a miserly Preston defence which conceded just three goals in six March games.
Brett Pitman (AFC Bournemouth) – striker
His five goals and increased work-rate across the front line in March had Bournemouth pushing for automatic promotion. Three of them were the only goals of the game in vital away wins at Stevenage, Oldham and Colchester, each of them tucked away with confidence.
Jamie Proctor (Crawley Town) - striker
A month to remember for the 21-year-old forward with his first goals for the club since joining in the January transfer window. His five goals in seven games included a sumptuous volley in the 2-0 win over Crewe Alexandra while his technically sound all-round play helped Crawley go unbeaten.
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