Three Candidates For Championship Manager Of The Season

Championship Manager Of The Season

There is still a lot to play for as we enter the business end of the 2021-22 English Championship season. Predicting who will secure the four play-off places come the end of the regular campaign isn’t something we would dare take a stab at yet, with so little to separate a whole host of sides in the English Championship betting odds, while the relegated teams are also yet to be confirmed — albeit looking a bit easier to call who will go down.

Of course, with so much left to be decided over the next five games or so, there are still plenty of candidates remaining in the running for the sought-after Manager of the Season award.

So, as the drama of English football’s second flight begins to hot up and the campaign goes down to the wire, let’s take a look at three of the coaches who we think could be in the running for this season’s best manager accolade. Read on to find out more!

Nathan Jones – Luton Town

With one of the smallest transfer chests and wage budgets in the league, Luton Town were arguably more favoured for the drop than a place in the play-offs with the Championship outright tips before the season got underway — but Nathan Jones has once again appeared to work his magic at Kennilworth Road.

Top of the Bedfordshire side fanbase’s most hated list after walking out on Luton just before they gained promotion from League One, opting to join Stoke City, not many fans were happy to see the Welshman return after the first lockdown. But he worked wonders, saving the Hatters from relegation on the final day of the 2019-2020 season and guiding them to a mid-table finish last year.

Even then, you’d never have expected Luton to push on again this season. But they are currently fifth in the table at the time of writing, and a place in the play-offs is firmly in their own hands. They have a tough run-in, with the likes of Nottingham Forest and Fulham still to play, but even if they do miss out on a place in the play-offs, Jones is still a strong candidate for Manager of the Season.

Carlos Corberán – Huddersfield Town

A product of Marcelo Bielsa, as the esteemed Argentine took him under his wing at Leeds United — promoting the Spaniard from under-23 manager to first team coach during his stint at Elland Road — Carlos Corberán is largely considered to be one of the most exciting young managers in the league.

Having turned down the Cultural Leonesa job in 2019 to continue learning from Bielsa, Corberán took the head coach role at Huddersfield Town in June 2020 — after helping Leeds gain promotion back to the Premier League — and after a tough first season, he has really impressed this year.

That 20th-place finish in his first term is nothing more than a distant memory now, as the Terriers are currently flying high in third and well on course for at least a place in the play-offs. They could have Bournemouth (2nd) in their sights though, and automatic promotion would surely see Corberán secure the Manager of the Season award.

Steve Cooper – Nottingham Forest

Steve Cooper has absolutely transformed Forest since taking over at the City Ground back in September. Spiralling out of control under the guidance of Chris Houghton, finishing a disappointing 17th last season and failing to win any of their opening seven games of this campaign (6L,1D), CChampionship Manager Of The Seasonooper has more than steadied the ship.

The 42-year-old, who won the U-17 World Cup with England and reached the play-off final with Swansea City last season, has won 21 of his 35 Championship games in charge of Forest — losing on just five occasions — taking them from the relegation zone to fourth in the table and one of the favourites for the play-offs.

Currently on a run of five-straight victories, Forest have two games in hand over most of their play-off rivals, which they should win on current form. But they still have trips to Luton, Fulham and Bournemouth left on their agenda before the season is out, which will be a real test of their mettle. Victories in all those games could see them finish second though.