The January nominations for the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month Award are:
Matt Bloomfield (Colchester United)
If the transformation under Bloomfield was steady until the turn of the year, it has been spectacular since. Colchester picked up 13 points from six games, with three crucial away wins over relegation rivals Harrogate, Rochdale and Hartlepool.
Steve Evans (Stevenage)
Quite a month for Evans’ men, whose notable FA Cup success was matched by their league form. Three unbeaten games, which included a convincing 3-0 win over leaders Leyton Orient, yielded seven points to maintain their title push.
Neil Harris (Gillingham)
Harris’ side went into the month having not scored more than once in a game all season. Fortified by outstanding transfer window recruitment, they managed it three times in January alone, collecting seven points from four games.
Paul Simpson (Carlisle United)
A stunning month for Carlisle who won their final four games out of five to move into the automatic promotion places. Simpson has turned them into a dominant force at Brunton Park where they scored 10 of their 12 January goals.
The January nominations for the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month Award are:
Kristian Dennis (Carlisle United) – striker
Five goals and two assists in five games for Carlisle’s nuisance of a striker, who refuses to give opposition defenders a moment’s peace, always ready on the shoulder to convert a half-chance as with his two opportunistic finishes against Hartlepool.
Conor McAleny (Salford City) – striker
After just three goals in an injury-hit 18 months, the 30-year-old scored six of Salford’s first seven goals in January. His braces against Bradford and Sutton included a sweet volley, a vicious free-kick and a clever flick to create space for a shot.
Tom Nichols (Gillingham) – striker
League Two’s signing of the transfer window, Nichols scored three goals and provided two assists in his first three Gillingham games, using his intelligence and elusive running to escape his marker and convert three Alex MacDonald set pieces.
Carl Piergianni (Stevenage) – central defender
A second straight nomination for Stevenage’s tower of strength, who marshalled his colleagues to two clean sheets in three games and provided a constant set-piece threat with two goals, including a headed winner against Gillingham.