Cambridge United Head Coach Mark Bonner has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for January.
A stellar start to the season was followed by an early winter swoon, which makes the U’s January renaissance all the more remarkable, collecting 14 points from six unbeaten games as they moved back to the top of League Two.
Bonner said: "It’s a privilege to receive this award on behalf of the team after a tough and challenging, but ultimately rewarding month in January.
“Off the back of a disappointing December, and in amongst the testing conditions bought about by Covid and the weather, we have shown a resilience and grit in many of the performances to come out on the right side of the results.
"We hope that the lessons learned and the results gained strengthen our belief and confidence as we eat into the second half of the season.
“The challenges ahead are big ones, but we are enjoying competing to remain in the top half of the table, and remain motivated to continue fighting to stay there.
"This particular award is testament to the committed and skilled team behind the team, and to the players themselves for some excellent performances.”
Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.
He said: “Unbeaten in January and gathering 14 points leaves Mark and his team in pole position going into February.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Cambridge were the darlings of League Two after their blistering start to the season, but there were considerable worries when having lost only two all season, they proceeded to lose five of seven in December.
“Mark Bonner kept the faith though, and his team pulled through for him in January in remarkable fashion. Nobody could keep the pace during an unbeaten six-game stretch, and it has led to Cambridge once again sitting atop the table.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Mark Bonner wins his second manager of the month award of the season after guiding his Cambridge team to four wins and two draws in January as they continue to defy the odds and sit top of League Two with over half of the campaign completed.
“The U’s currently sit three points clear at the top and are an 8/1 shot for the title (50/1 before a ball was kicked) but there are as many as eight teams that would class themselves as in the title running and League Two really is a fascinating puzzle that looks like going down to the wire.
“The job that Bonner and his coaching staff have done at The Abbey has massively exceeded all expectations and Cambridge are in with a genuine chance of promotion now at 11/8 from 9/1 at the start of the season.”
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.