Johnson, Cooper win April Championship awards

Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for April.

Nottingham Forest winger Brennan Johnson has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for April.

Whether it was his two clinical finishes at Blackpool or a superb cross to assist the only goal at Peterborough, the dynamic Johnson displayed his growing maturity as he contributed four goals and four assists to the Forest charge.

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Maybe the standout young talent in the Championship this season, Johnson’s goals and assists have been critical in Forest’s surge up the table to the very cusp of automatic promotion.
“Now with a two-legged semi-final against Sheffield United on the cards, Johnson and his teammates will have to dust themselves down and make sure they maintain the high standards they’ve set in one of the most high-pressured set of games in football.”

“Johnson has been one of the outstanding players in the second tier this season and was recently named EFL Young Player of the Year, having contributed more goals and assists than any other Forest player.”

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper celebrates after the final whistle following the Emirates FA Cup fourth round match at the City Ground, Nottingham. Picture date: Sunday February 6, 2022.

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for April.

In the ever-competitive Championship, consistency is priceless, so Forest’s April record of seven wins from eight games with a 19-3 goal differential in their hunt for automatic promotion said everything about the mindset Cooper had created.

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The journey Steve Cooper has taken the Nottingham Forest fans on this season will live long in the memory whether they reach their ultimate aim of promotion back to the Premier League or not.

“He’s taken 76 points from 38 games in charge, a better points per game ratio than even Fulham managed and allowed the club to dream once again.”

Sky Bet League One

Player: Lee Gregory, Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday striker Lee Gregory has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for April.

Gregory scored seven of Wednesday’s 14 goals in the month. His guile and craft, clever positioning and experience were evident in the clever volley at MK Dons, a deft flick against Portsmouth and a delightfully diverse hat-trick at Fleetwood.

Wednesday manager Darren Moore said: “You always want your number nine scoring goals and we’re lucky to have seen that from Lee this season. He fully deserves this award after so much consistency, he’s brought bags of experience into our dressing room.”

Gregory said: “I’m really pleased to win this award. I pride myself on scoring goals and I hit some good form. As nice as this award is, it’s a team game and as a team we fell short unfortunately, but we’ll look to come back ready to go next season.”

Wycombe Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth wins the April 2022 EFL Sky Bet League One manager of the month during the Wycombe Wanderers at Wycombe Training Ground, High Wycombe, England on the 6 May 2022. Photo by Andy Rowland.

Manager: Gareth Ainsworth, Wycombe

Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for April.

His astute management style, experience and knowledge of his players steered Wycombe through an unbeaten month and into the play-off places on the final day, amassing 17 points and 13 goals from seven games in the process.

Ainsworth said: “April was a massive month for us, particularly with us coming back after a two-week international break and hoping to carry on momentum from a good run of results in March.

“The boys were brilliant in every department and it was a fantastic achievement for us to break into the top six, particularly with lots of teams around us picking up good results as well.

“I’m delighted to win the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month award, which is testament to the hard work and focus of everyone at the training ground, including all the players and staff.”

Sky Bet League Two

Player: Elliot Anderson, Bristol Rovers

Bristol Rovers midfielder Elliot Anderson has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for April.

Using his quick feet and focused mind, the teenage Newcastle loanee contributed three goals that were either equalisers or winners to Rovers’ promotion surge. He also added a pair of assists in the thrilling comeback victory at Rochdale.

Anderson said: “I’m delighted to receive the award. I’m enjoying my football and Bristol Rovers is a great club to be playing for.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It almost needs to be pointed out the criteria for this award is judged solely on Anderson’s performances in April, before the frankly ridiculous performance he turned in on the dramatic final day, adding two assists and a goal to the three goals and two assists he registered in April.

“He heads back to Newcastle United with a reputation as one of the most exciting young players in the country, and understandably gaining a huge amount of interest from across the footballing pyramid.”

Sky Bet League 2 Manager of the Month for April - Matt Taylor, Manager of Exeter City poses with his trophy and his team and backroom staff during the Exeter City Training session ahead of the their title deciding fixture against Port Vale at Cliff Hill Training Ground, Exeter on 5 May 2022. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Manager: Matt Taylor, Exeter

Exeter City manager Matt Taylor has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for April.

Exeter had suffered heartache in each of the past five seasons, losing in three play-off finals. Taylor set aside the crushing pressure that history created to lead his side convincingly to automatic promotion with 16 points from seven games.

Taylor said: “It’s a great recognition for the players and staff for their efforts throughout the season. Seven games last month was a bit of a slog, and it’s felt like that throughout the season at times. In relation to the way the players have conducted themselves and the support of staff has been spot on and allowed us to have the success we have had.

“We’ve got better as the season has gone on, five wins throughout that month, only one defeat and one draw was a fantastic points return. The product on the pitch kept on improving and ultimately allowed us to be promoted with a couple games to spare which is a nice feeling.

“You go back to the start of the month, those games at Newport and certainly away at Carlisle and the late winner and feeling we got off the back going into a run of home fixtures really saw us through. You want to save your best months for the end of the season as that is when it matters most and we had a fantastic April.”

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