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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Clough contender for gong

Nigel Clough, Steve Cotterill, Karl Robinson and Mark Warburton are up for Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month award.

Last Updated: 08/01/14 at 07:08 Post Comment

Nigel Clough: Helping to get Sheffield United back on track

Nigel Clough: Helping to get Sheffield United back on track

The tide has started to turn at Sheffield United under Clough's guidance and the efforts of he and his fellow bosses at Bristol City, MK Dons and Brentford throughout December have been recognised with nominations for a top award.

The Blades, Dons and Bees also have contenders for the Player of the Month prize - in the form of Jose Baxter, Stephen Gleeson and Sam Saunders respectively - while Walsall defender Paul Downing completes the four-man shortlist.

Here, Sky Sports considers more closely the managers in contention.

Nigel Clough (Sheffield United)

His calm assurance is proving a boon at Bramall Lane. Placed the emphasis on establishing a solid foundation and his side are buying in to his tactics, conceding just two goals in four games and earning eight points in the process.

Steve Cotterill (Bristol City)

An impressive first month in charge brought seven points from four games and culminated in a 4-1 victory over Stevenage. Transmitted his infectious enthusiasm into his new players as City moved off the foot of League One.

Karl Robinson (Milton Keynes Dons)

His admirable patience in the face of a crippling injury list was mirrored in the determination of his players to win three games from four, all of them without conceding. The Dons' passing style was most evident in the 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Mark Warburton (Brentford)

Managerial careers do not start any better. Four decisive wins out of four by a combined 10-3 margin won over the Brentford players and supporters alike. Proved himself savvy by resisting the urge to tinker unnecessarily.

Sky Sports also takes a look at those in the mix to be named Player of the Month.

Jose Baxter (Sheffield United)

Given the freedom to roam and use his passing ability to worry opposition defences, he also contributed three goals - a header and two powerful strikes - the highlight a stunning 30-yard equaliser against former club Oldham Athletic.

Paul Downing (Walsall)

Now settled, the 22-year-old's distribution from the back and fine reading of the game were instrumental in Walsall conceding just three goals in the month. Has formed an impressive partnership with the experienced Andy Butler.

Stephen Gleeson (Milton Keynes Dons)

Finally recovering his form after a long-term injury, the Irishman scored two stunning goals - against Port Vale and an angled dipping volley at Crawley Town. His box-to-box energy was vital in his side winning all of his December games.

Sam Saunders (Brentford)

Alternating between the wing and the centre, he drove his side forward throughout a stellar December. Two assists and three goals featured a stunning free-kick against Swindon Town and a terrific 20-yard strike against MK Dons.

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O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

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