Double delight for Martinez and Jones
CARDIFF CITY boss Dave Jones and Swansea City’s Roberto Martinez have earned a remarkable double honour for Welsh football by both being named Manager of the Month for January in their respective divisions.
Jones took the accolade in the Championship after guiding his side to just one point and one place off the play-off places.
And Martinez gained the same honour in League One after masterminding the Swans incredible run of form which currently sees them 10 points clear at the top of the table.
Last month Jones, who was almost booted out of Ninian Park after a slow start to the season, led Cardiff to three Championship wins and a good draw at West Brom as well as FA Cup wins at Chasetown and Hereford to put the Bluebirds into the fifth round for the first time since 1994.
Jones said he was delighted with the award seeing it as an indication he was doing something right while also heaping praise upon his players.
“I’m proud to win it really because it means we’re doing something right at least,” said Jones.
“The lads have been absolutely superb. Everything is starting to come together again now. At the moment everything is going really well, everybody is working hard and hopefully that will continue.”
Jones beat off competition from shortlisted Glenn Roeder of Norwich, Burnley’s Owen Coyle and Gary Johnson of Bristol City to take the prize.
Meanwhile, Martinez picked up the award for the third time this season.
In January his Swans side earned four league wins and two draws to cement their place as incredibly strong promotion candidates. The only blot on his copybook was the FA Cup defeat to non-league Havant and Waterlooville.
Martinez was also keen to share the award with staff and players and joked he hoped he would be winning it again in the months to come.
“It is another great accolade for the club, the coaching staff and the players,” Martinez told the club’s official website, www.swanseacity.net
“It has been a very demanding month with the fixtures coming thick and fast, but the players have remained focused and maintained their high standards throughout. They deserve the credit more than anyone.
“They have raised the profile of the club yet again with this award, but they know they can’t lose focus. We have got too many games ahead of us to do that now.
“If we are up there challenging for another award come March, I’ll be even happier.”
Also shortlisted for the League One award were Keith Downing of Cheltenham Town, Sean O’Driscoll of Doncaster Rovers and Northampton Town’s Stuart Gray.
Chris Kamara, chairman of the Coca-Cola Manager of the Month Awards panel, was keen to praise both Jones and Martinez for their achievements.
“Dave Jones endured a difficult first few months of the season, but has really begun to turn things around in recent weeks, “ said Kamara.
“Since the turn of the year his Cardiff side have been in terrific form and all credit must go to Dave for the way he kept his composure during his side’s indifferent spell.
“The Bluebirds’ results in January have given them an excellent chance of mounting a serious play-off challenge over the final few months of the season.
“Roberto Martinez’s Swansea continue to enjoy a remarkable season in League One. They are the best footballing side in the division and month after month just keeping sweeping all before them.
“If the Swans can keep up their current level of consistency, it will be very difficult for anyone to stop them gaining promotion to the Championship this season.”
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