Swans boss beats Farke to the Manager of the Month award
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Swansea boss Steve Cooper has been named Manager of the Month for January, ahead of Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke.
Farke was nominated alongside Cooper, Reading manager Veljko Paunovic and Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray. The German has been shortlisted for the accolade on four occasions this season but is yet to win the award.
The Canaries went the whole of January unbeaten in the Championship, gaining 10 points from a possible 12 and only conceding one goal. They have since been knocked off the summit by the relentless Brentford, who beating Reading 3-1 in midweek.
The news won't come as a surprise to Farke himself, who predicted that he would once again be overlooked for the award earlier this week.
“Each and every game at this level is difficult. Also, the outside world judges it in this way. I was nominated for Manager of the Month for October, November and December – January I’m not sure yet but no other team won more points than us, so I guess I will be nominated.
“I will miss out on the award, I’m used to it. But it doesn’t mean that I’m such a wonderful or great coach, it just means that the lads are doing absolutely fantastic."
Cooper's men hold the best defensive record in the division having only conceded 15 goals all season. They can move above Norwich providing they win their game in hand against Blackburn in early March.
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Conor Hourihane has injected some real quality in their midfield and his goal was enough to condemn Farke's side to a 2-0 defeat in South Wales last weekend.
Speaking about the decision to award the accolade to Cooper, panellist and former Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson said: “Steve’s team had a ten-point return in January, scoring eight goals in the process.
"Gaining four points against promotion rivals Watford and Brentford left the club hot on the heels of league leaders Norwich.”
EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “January looked a tricky month on paper for the Swans, but Steve Cooper’s side rose to the task admirably. While balancing an impressive-looking FA Cup run, they picked up 10 points from a possible twelve in the league, despite a couple of tricky looking away games against Barnsley & Rotherham.
“Swansea are set to be right in the mix for automatic promotion to the Premier League if they can maintain this consistency, and if they do, they’ll reflect on the month of January as being very significant.”