Rams boss Billy Davies is again in the running for the January Championship manager of the month award.
Davies picked up the prize in November after collecting a maximum 18 points from six consecutive Championship victories.
It`s a case of déjà vu, as the Rams have also won all six of their matches in January – four in the League and two in the FA Cup – to open up a six-point lead at the top of the table and reach the last 16 of the Cup.
In the winning run they have had away victories at Preston and Southend, and beat Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley at Pride Park. Also the cup victories came at the Rams home ground against Wrexham and Bristol Rovers, four of them ending in 1-0 victories.
Davies will go close again to the award, and it`s well deserved. He has instilled a passionate resolve into the players at the club, and although something this passion overflows and gets him into trouble, in my opinion has done wonders at the football club, and the supporters appreciate this. A number of coaches have been shortlist for the award with Davies, and they are Roy Keane of Sunderland, Southend’s Steve Tilson and Tony Mowbray of West Bromwich Albion.
Keane`s Sunderland won three and drew one of their four League fixtures in January, and lost to Preston in the Cup. Tilson`s Southend hauled themselves off the bottom of the table by winning three league games, all against teams in the top six. They beat West Brom at Roots Halls, and won at Cardiff and Birmingham City. They have only lost once in the month and that was to the Rams at home.
Mowbray`s West Brom took nine points from 12 with wins over Luton, Leeds and Plymouth and added Cup wins against Leeds and Wolves.
The winner is announced later this week
It could be a double celebration for the Rams with striker Steve Howard up for the Championship Player of the month award. Howard started the year off in fine style, with both goals in the New Year’s Day win at Preston North End, and he followed that up by scoring against Southend and Burnley as Derby surged clear at the head of the Championship.
The 14-goal striker faces competition from Sunderland’s David Connolly, Plymouth’s Barry Hayles and Preston’s David Nugent.
The winner will be announced on Sunday.
Meanwhile Davies is still planning to seek a personal hearing after being sent to the stand at Southend last month. He has been charged with using ‘abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official.’ The Rams boss, also sent to the stands against Burnley, has had them charges dropped.