Rafa Benitez lands Championship manager of the month award

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez hoists the Sky Bet Championship manager of the month award. Picture by Joe Meredith/JMP
Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez hoists the Sky Bet Championship manager of the month award. Picture by Joe Meredith/JMP
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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.

The Tynesiders started the month with a 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 were 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 against Preston 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’s 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.”

The plaudits do not end with Benitez, though.

Ayoze Perez has also been nominated for October’s Championship 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.