Walsall boss Dean Smith was today nominated for League One’s Manager of the Month award for January.
The Saddlers won four out of five games last month to shoot up the table and put themselves into play-off contention.
It caps a stunning turnaround after they ended a 16-match winless run in December – when they were just two points off the drop zone – and have since won eight of their last 10 games.
Smith is up against Swindon Town’s Paolo Di Canio and Yeovil Town’s Gary Johnson.
Jamie Paterson’s last minute winner sealed a New Year’s Day 1-0 victory over Stevenage, before a 2-0 win in front of the Sky Sports cameras against Portsmouth.
Walsall followed it with successive 3-1 wins over Preston and Bournemouth – ending the Cherries’ 15-match unbeaten league run under Eddie Howe.