Taking The Plaudits

11 January 2019
Managers have been rewarded for their achievements on a monthly basis since 1969 when the award was set-up to recognise the excellence in performance by managers throughout the league.

Nigel Adkins became the eleventh Hull City boss to have been the recipient of the award after his side remained unbeaten throughout the month of December, accumulating 16 points from a possible 18 in the process.

Here, we take a look at the previous ten managers to have picked up the gong whilst in charge of the Tigers…

Terry Neill
January 1971
Terry Neill got the ball rolling in January 1971 when his Hull City side ended the month at the top of the old Division Two and were preparing for an FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Brentford.

A 2-0 home victory over Charlton Athletic in the Third Round of the FA Cup saw Neill’s men start the month in a positive manner before the Tigers’ first league game of the New Year saw them thrash Sunderland 4-0 thanks to a Chris Chilton hat-trick and a further strike from Ken Wagstaff.

Another victory over Charlton followed – this time in the league – before an impressive 2-0 win over top-flight Blackpool in the FA Cup Fourth Round in front of over 34,500 fans. The only defeat of January came towards the end of the month when Portsmouth claimed a 1-0 win at Boothferry Park.

The Tigers finished the campaign fifth in Division Two, eight points behind Champions Leicester City and just five points off an automatic promotion spot.

John Kaye
November 1974
John Kaye made an immediate impact when he replaced Terry Neill in the Boothferry Park hot-seat.

Despite suffering a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Notts County in the opening game of the month, Kaye’s Tigers bounced back to record wins over Fulham (1-0), Manchester United (2-0), who went on to win the old Division Two title, and Bristol City (1-0). The Tigers also claimed a 1-1 draw on their travels away at Portsmouth.

Kaye’s side went on to finish the campaign eighth in the league table, while Kaye’s reign at the club lasted until October 1977.

Colin Appleton
December 1982
Colin Appleton’s Tigers remained unbeaten throughout December 1982, with three victories and two draws enough to secure the monthly managerial award for the Tigers’ boss.

A Les Mutrie strike secured a 1-1 draw at Blackpool at the beginning of the month before a 3-0 success over Colcheter United at Boothferry Park saw the Tigers register their first win of the festive month. Another 3-0 success followed, this time at Crewe Alexandra before a 1-1 home draw with Halifax Town. Appleton’s side finished December with a 2-1 win at Darlington to give him the honour of being the third Tigers’ boss to be named Manager of the Month.

At the end of the season, the Tigers achieved their first promotion in 16 years, finishing as runners-up to Wimbledon in Division Four.

Brian Horton
March 1985
With seven games in the month of March, even a busy schedule couldn’t prevent player/manager Brian Horton from picking up the Manager of the Month in March 1985.

Home victories over Bristol Rovers (2-0), Derby County (3-2) and Lincoln City (1-0), along with away wins at Swansea City (2-0), Doncaster Rovers (2-1) and Cambridge United (3-1) helped seal the award for Horton. In fact, the Tigers dropped just two points all month, having also drawn 2-2 with Plymouth Argyle at Boothferry Park. Horton guided the Tigers to promotion from the old Division Three in 1984/85, finishing third behind Champions Bradford City and runners-up Millwall.

Terry Dolan
November 1994
The Tigers won three out of four games in what was the old Division Two in November 1994 to secure the Manager of the Month prize for Terry Dolan.

Goals from Linton Brown, Dean Windass and Craig Lawford got the month off to a positive start with a 3-0 home victory over York City, which was followed up with a 1-0 success at Brentford.

A run of four consecutive wins was ended by Bristol Rovers, who won 2-0 at Boothferry Park in what was the only defeat of the month, but the Tigers showed their ‘bouncebackability’ to win 2-0 at Cardiff City to make it nine points from a possible twelve in November. Dolan’s side went on to finish the 1994/95 season eighth in Division Two.

Brian Little
February 2001
Despite the Club being in administration, Brian Little inspired his Hull City side to a magnificent run of results in February 2001 to become the sixth Tigers’ boss to be named Manager of the Month.

The Tigers won every one of their Division Three fixtures in the second month of the year, beating Leyton Orient (1-0), Mansfield Town (2-1) and Barnet (2-1) at Boothferry Park as well as claiming three points on their travels against Cheltenham Town (1-0) and Shrewsbury Town (2-0).

Little’s side occupied one of the four play-off spots at the end of the season but went out at the semi-final stage. After winning the first leg at home thanks to a John Eyre strike, goals from Orient duo Steve Watts and Matt Lockwood cemented The O’s place in the final to bring an end to the Tigers’ 2000/01 campaign.

Peter Taylor
December 2004
Peter Taylor was awarded the League One Manager of the Month award for December 2004 following an impressive run of form.

The Tigers’ five wins in December – part of an eight-game winning streak – included a 6-1 demolition of high-flying Tranmere Rovers and a 4-2 win away at Sheffield Wednesday. The form of Taylor’s side during the festive month closed the gap on League One leaders Luton Town before eventually taking top spot in early 2005.

Chairman of the Manager of the Month awards at the time, Chris Kamara said: “Hull are simply flying in League One. Peter’s got such a great managerial pedigree that he’s well on his way to getting Hull back-to-back promotions.”

And Kamara was spot on, as Taylor duly delivered the goods. The Tigers gained promotion at the end of the 2004/05 campaign, returning to the second tier of English football for the first time in 14 years.

Phil Brown
March 2008
Phil Brown’s side were in fantastic form during March 2008, picking up six wins from their eight league fixtures during a busy month of Championship action.

Back-to-back home victories over Burley and Scunthorpe United at the start of the month set the Tigers on a good run but the undoubted highlight was the 5-0 victory over Southampton on home soil. Four consecutive victories at the end of the month, including a 3-0 home win over Watford, kept them on course to challenge for automatic promotion.

Chris Kamara, then Chairman of the Manager of the Month awards, said: “Hull City have been on an incredible run recently, hitting form when it really matters. Six wins in March have propelled them to third in the Championship table and as the form side they take all the momentum into the business end of the season.”

Phil Brown
September 2008
Phil Brown was rewarded for Hull City’s haul of seven points from a possible nine in the second month of the 2008/09 Premier League campaign.

Pundits gave Hull little chance of surviving their first season in the top flight before the season kicked off, yet Brown’s side started the campaign in solid fashion, winning one, drawing one and losing one of their opening three games.

They kicked on in September though, starting the month with an impressive 2-1 win away at Newcastle United before picking up a point on home soil with a 2-2 draw with Everton. The Tigers saved the best for the last though, as goals from Geovanni and Daniel Cousin secured a memorable 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

After an impressive first half of the season, the Tigers’ form tailed off alarmingly from Christmas onwards though, winning just once in the league (away at Fulham) before the end of the season, going on to survive the drop by the skin of their teeth on the final day of the season.

Steve Bruce
December 2012
Steve Bruce was rewarded for an impressive final month of 2012 with the December Manager of the Month award.

The Tigers climbed to second place in the Championship just before Christmas under Bruce after claiming 16 of the 18 available points for the month with wins over Nottingham Forest, Watford, Huddersfield Town, Derby County and Leeds United and a goalless draw against Leicester City – keeping three clean sheets and scoring ten goals in the process.

It proved to be a season to remember for the Club as the Tigers ended the season with promotion to the Premier League, sealed on what was an unforgettable final day of the campaign following a 2-2 draw with Champions Cardiff City.

Steve Bruce
January 2016
Steve Bruce became only the second Hull City manager to be named Manager of the Month on more than one occasion when he won the award in January 2016.

Bruce collected the gong after guiding the Tigers to the top of the Championship standings with four successive league wins over QPR (2-1), Cardiff City (2-0), Charlton Athletic (6-0) and Fulham (1-0) sending the team one point clear of Middlesbrough at the top of the Championship table.

After receiving his award, Bruce said: “It’s a big pat on the back and congratulations to all my staff, who help me tirelessly. Of course it’s the manager who gets a nice trophy but it’s also for the lads who work behind the scenes, the ones who are ready to take training now. I’d rather be picking it up in March or April than February, but there you are.”

Mike Phelan
August 2016
Mike Phelan was named the Barclays Manager of the Month for August after steering the newly-promoted Tigers to two wins in the opening three matches of the 2016/17 season.

The votes of a panel of experts and the public were combined to mean that Phelan beat a shortlist of Antonio Conte (Chelsea), Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) and Jose Mourinho (Manchester United) after seeing his side beat reigning Premier League champions Leicester City 2-1 on home soil on the opening day of the season. That win was followed up by another maximum return on the road when beating Swansea City 2-0 before slipping to a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United in their third and final game of the opening month of the season.

Speaking after receiving his award, Phelan said: “I am honoured. It’s an honour you don’t expect, being caretaker manager. It’s a credit to the football club and to the players for all their endeavours that have given me this achievement. We had a small amount of players available to us but, to all intents and purposes, they stuck to their task really well and it has got us off to a decent start.”

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