ROCKIN’ ROBINS AT THE DOU­BLE...

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Tom Black­ett

BRIS­TOL City’s su­perb Septem­ber has been re­warded with two in­di­vid­ual ac­co­lades – for man­ager Lee John­son and de­fender Aden Flint.

John­son scooped the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship Man­ager of the Month hon­our af­ter the Robins bagged 14 points from six un­beaten games to climb to fifth place. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing his prize, the mod­est boss de­flected the praise else­where.

“It was a very dif­fi­cult Septem­ber on pa­per but the boys worked fan­tas­ti­cally well,” he said. “I ac­cept the award on be­half of ev­ery­body, staff and play­ers and, ac­tu­ally, fans as well be­cause they’ve been part of our good form in Septem­ber.

En­ergy

“We’ve scored goals (13), had num­bers in the box and a lot of en­ergy to our play. Given the fact there’s been tough games, it’s been a great Septem­ber for us.”

It looked as though tow­er­ing cen­tre-back Flint had played his last game for the club when trans­fer spec­u­la­tion abounded in Au­gust and he was left out of the line-up. But he stayed put and roared back into ac­tion in Septem­ber.

Com­mand­ing at the heart of the Robins’ de­fence, the 28year-old also chipped in with three goals.

Flint said: “It’s been a good month for me but it’s been a great month for the club in gen­eral. With ev­ery­thing go­ing on in the sum­mer, ‘what’s hap­pen­ing?’, ‘where are you go­ing to go?’, ‘am I stay­ing?’ and not be­ing in the team and such, I just got my head down, worked and tried not to let it bother me.

“The de­ter­mi­na­tion from miss­ing the first month’s foot­ball meant that when I got my chance I was ready to take it.”

It’s no great sur­prise that Shrews­bury Town boss Paul Hurst has re­ceived the League One man­ager award. His sur­prise pace­set­ters won six of their seven matches and only a late Black­burn lev­eller pre­vented the Shrews mak­ing it a per­fect record.

Hurst said: “It’s a proud mo­ment, the first award I’ve had as a Foot­ball League man­ager, but, ul­ti­mately, it’s the play­ers’ ef­forts, in par­tic­u­lar, along with the staff in the back­ground that con­trib­utes to me as the man­ager get­ting this award.

“It’s a mas­sive sur­prise in truth to be un­beaten at this point, two months into the sea­son. We thought we would be bet­ter than last year, but for the play­ers to have done as well as they have is credit to them and their hard work. We’ve sur­prised every­one, in­clud­ing our­selves.”

De­lighted

Portsmouth striker Brett Pit­man claimed the player ac­co­lade af­ter net­ting six times in seven games.

“I’m de­lighted to re­ceive this award and with the start I have made to my Pompey ca­reer,” said the 29-year-old. “But it is just a start and I know I need to keep scor­ing goals once I have re­cov­ered from my in­jury (bro­ken nose). I also need to thank my team-mates for pro­vid­ing me with so many chances to find the net.” In League Two, Notts County man­ager Kevin Nolan was re­warded af­ter his side won six of their seven games to fin­ish the month top of the ta­ble. “This is an ex­tremely proud achieve­ment for me, my staff and my play­ers, who have all made a mas­sive con­tri­bu­tion,” he said. “There’s no way I could do this job with­out Richard Thomas, Mark Cross­ley and every­one who has sup­ported me be­hind the scenes. They all thor­oughly de­serve this recog­ni­tion. “I would also like to thank the chair­man (Alan Hardy) once again for the amaz­ing back­ing he has given me, not only this sea­son but since our arrival in Jan­uary.” Bar­net striker Shaquile Coulthirst, 22, won the player gong af­ter notch­ing six goals and two as­sists, in­clud­ing a first-ever EFL hat-trick in the 4-1 win at Swin­don. Coulthirst said: “I’ve scored a few goals and that’s what I love to do, so it’s great to get the recog­ni­tion for that. “I’ve been set­tling in, new club, new sur­round­ings, new peo­ple who’ve helped me a lot and I think that’s shown on the pitch. “Scor­ing my first hat-trick was great for me - my fam­ily and my mum were re­ally happy. “I just want to score as many goals as pos­si­ble, 20 or 30, and see where that takes the team. Hope­fully that will be the pro­mo­tion places.”

TRO­PHY HUNTERS: Bris­tol City de­fender Aden Flint and, inset, boss Lee John­son show off their prizes PRIZE GUYS: From left, Portsmouth striker Brett Pit­man, Shrews­bury boss Paul Hurst, Notts County boss Kevin Nolan and Bar­net striker Shaquile Coulthirst

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