Jutkiewicz bags Player of Month hon­our

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FIRST ROUND RESULTS - By Tom Black­ett

BIRM­ING­HAM boss Garry Monk hailed Lukas Jutkiewicz as ‘phe­nom­e­nal’ after the striker scooped the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship Player of the Month award for Oc­to­ber.

The Duke weighed in with five goals, in­clud­ing a hat-trick against Rother­ham, as the Blues pow­ered up the Cham­pi­onship ta­ble.

“Ev­ery­one at the club is ab­so­lutely de­lighted for him,” said Monk. “It’s thor­oughly de­served. Lukas’ worth to the team since we’ve come in has been im­mense.

“Peo­ple talk about the goals, but it’s not just that. It has been his all-round con­tri­bu­tion this month and those months pre­vi­ously – phe­nom­e­nal. His chal­lenge is to con­tinue that.”

Jutkiewicz, 29, added: “It is lovely to pick up this award. I very much ap­pre­ci­ate it, but it has been a good month for us as a team.

“A lot of the credit goes to my team-mates. I rely on the ser­vice they pro­vide and that has been top qual­ity.

“Play­ing reg­u­larly helps. Since the man­ager has come in I have played in all the games and it helps with your con­fi­dence to know that a man­ager is will­ing to pick you week in, week out.”


In League One, an­other on­song for­ward scooped the hon­ours. Fred­die Ladapo weighed in with six goals and two as­sists to as­sist Ply­mouth’s re­vival.

The 25-year-old said: “It was a fan­tas­tic month for me and I’m en­joy­ing my foot­ball a hell of a lot.

“Com­ing here as a new player, you want to just hit the ground run­ning and get go­ing, and I think the goals I’ve scored have given peo­ple a lot of con­fi­dence in me – and play­ing in front of 10,000 fans ev­ery week is fan­tas­tic.

“Six goals in six games – I think this is the best goalscor­ing form I’ve been on so far, and long may it con­tinue.”

Pil­grims boss Derek Adams said: “Fred­die works very hard for the team and de­serves all the plau­dits that have come his way.”

In League Two, Grimsby goal­keeper James McK­e­own picked up the prize. The 29-year-old kept four clean sheets in five games and saved a penalty against Ex­eter.

“Be­ing a goal­keeper, you might get the odd well done here and there but in gen­eral you don’t get a lot of recog­ni­tion,” he said. “It was a good month for us as a team, not con­ced­ing goals, but that isn’t just down to me.

“It is not just down to the back four ei­ther, it is down to the whole team, so I sup­pose it is for ev­ery­one. To get some­thing like this at the end of it is like the cherry on top re­ally.” Mod­est QPR boss Steve McClaren shared the praise around after land­ing the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship Man­ager of the Month tro­phy for Oc­to­ber.

After a night­mare start to the sea­son, the R’s ral­lied with the help of some as­tute loan sign­ings. An Oc­to­ber haul of 13 points from five un­beaten games lifted the west Lon­don­ers into the top half.

“I have got to say the re­sponse of the play­ers has been good, but the main fac­tor in why we’ve had such a good Oc­to­ber was the staff I have got around me,” said the for­mer Eng­land man­ager.


“It is all about peo­ple, it is all about play­ers, it is all about staff – and the staff have been ab­so­lutely mag­nif­i­cent.”

Coven­try boss Mark Robins bagged the League One gong. His side lost their open­ing game of the month to lead­ers Portsmouth, but then won their re­main­ing five games.

Robins said: “We played some good foot­ball early on with­out get­ting the re­sults that we de­served to get, but I think that every­body has worked re­ally, re­ally hard be­hind the scenes and the play­ers have been bril­liant this month.”

It took Paul Tis­dale a decade at Ex­eter to scoop a Man­ager of the Month award, but he has now man­aged it in three months at new club MK Dons. His side en­joyed a near-per­fect Oc­to­ber, col­lect­ing 16 points from a pos­si­ble 18.

“Things are go­ing re­ally nicely, but I want to be very care­ful not to get too car­ried away,” he said. “I have cer­tainly con­cen­trated on the process of our per­for­mances – the re­sults are nice as they are a prod­uct of that, but there is a lot more work still to do. It is early days.”

PIC­TURE: PA Im­ages

EC­STATIC: Birm­ing­ham’s Lukas Jutkiewicz cel­e­brates scor­ing against Read­ing and, in­set top, with his tro­phy. In­set mid­dle: Ply­mouth’s Fred­die Ladapo and in­set bot­tom: Grimsby’s James McK­e­own

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