Ipswich Town’s Mick McCarthy and Tyrone Mings nominated for Sky Bet Championship Manager and Player of the Month awards respectively
- Credit: Archant
Mick McCarthy and Tyrone Mings have both been nominated for the Sky Bet Championship Manager and Player of the Month awards respectively following Ipswich Town’s impressive September – and there is a strong possibility of double success.
The Blues’ limp 1-0 home defeat to East Anglian rivals Norwich City already seems a lifetime ago, McCarthy having turned things around with a mixture of personnel and tactical changes.
A seven-game unbeaten run started with the 1-1 draw at Derby towards the back end of August, with teenager Teddy Bishop boldly thrown into the starting XI at Pride Park.
Then came back-to-back home wins over Millwall (2-0) and Brighton (2-0), with McCarthy again making a big decision to drop consistent centre-back Tommy Smith in order to accommodate two attacking full-backs in the form of Mings and Jonathan Parr.
After that there was a switch to a 4-3-3 system, another decision which paid dividends as Town were fully deserving of a 2-1 win at Wigan in front of the Sky television cameras on a Monday night.
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That was followed by a 2-0 victory over Rotherham at Portman Road and 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday, the latter the only game Town dropped points in over the course of September. Last Sunday, the Blues drew 2-2 at Nottingham Forest to move up to sixth in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Although strike duo Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick have been in fine form, and centre-back Christophe Berra imperious, it was marauding left-back Mings who was undoubtedly Town’s star man over that period, the 21-year-old showing exactly why McCarthy turned down a £2.5m transfer deadline day bid from Crystal Palace.
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It’s been a dramatic 22 months of progress for the athletic full-back since he became McCarthy’s surprise first signing at the club back in December 2012. Plucked from low-level non-league side Chippenham Town, he went from being a mortgage broker to a second-tier professional.
After a handful of encouraging displays last season he took it upon himself to undertake his own pre-season training at St George’s Park for the second summer running. Handed the number three shirt following the big money sale of Aaron Cresswell to Premier League club West Ham, he has stepped up to the challenge of filling the shoes of last season’s Championship Team of the Year left-back with aplomb.
The winners of both awards (nominations below) will be announced tomorrow morning. The judging panel comprises Sky Sports’ Football League expert Don Goodman, Football League Head of Communications John Nagle, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery.
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SKY BET MANAGER OF THE MONTH NOMINATIONS FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
Mick McCarthy (Ipswich Town)
Built on the twin striking pillars of David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy, as well as solid home form, McCarthy’s side put together an almost perfect month with 13 points from a possible 15 which lifted them into the play-off places.
Aitor Karanka (Middlesbrough)
Two away wins in four days at Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City set the tone for an unbeaten September which proved that Karanka has added attacking flair to the solid defensive base he established at the Riverside last season.
Steve McClaren (Derby County)
His side re-discovered their attacking mojo in September with a thrilling 3-2 win at Blackburn Rovers as well as comeback draws against Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City. Three wins and two draws brought 11 points from five matches.
Bob Peeters (Charlton Athletic)
Led Charlton through a second successive unbeaten month in spite of a difficult fixture list. Has brought in organisation and defensive stability. A 1-0 win at Norwich City was the highlight while just two goals were conceded.
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYER OF THE MONTH NOMINATIONS FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
Tyrone Mings (Ipswich Town) – left-back
A terrific athlete who loves a tackle. The 21-year-old showed a great attitude after Ipswich turned down a bid from Crystal Palace, surging forward at every opportunity to provide telling assists for goals against Brighton & Hove Albion and Wigan Athletic.
Cameron Jerome (Norwich City) – striker
Hard work is a given from Jerome. September was notable for his five goals in five games to supplement that industry. The 3-0 win at Brentford featured a lovely individual effort and a spectacular diving header.
Joe Lewis (Blackpool) – goalkeeper
Rarely does a player in a struggling side stand out as much as Lewis did this month. He organised a new defence in front of him and produced stunning save after stunning save, especially against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) – winger
Three memorable goals – two from distance in the 3-1 win over Wigan Athletic – and an overlapping assist against Watford. Most impressive was his versatility, playing behind the front two, on the right wing and even at right-back.