Dean Smith is named Manager of the Month

Dean Smith today won League One’s Manager of the Month for January to become the first Walsall boss to take the award in almost seven years.

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The Banks’s Stadium chief claimed the gong after four wins from five games last month propelled the Saddlers to ninth.

Smith beat Swindon’s Paolo Di Canio and Yeovil boss Gary Johnson to the award and is the first Walsall manager to win it since Richard Money in November 2006.

He said: “It’s been a while and, hopefully, if we continue the form we are in at the moment ,we might get this month’s as well.

“It’s my first personal achievement as a manager and I do class staying up in my first year as a massive achievement, but this is the first time I have been recognised for something.

“We have had a performance of the week when we beat Hartlepool 5-2 but to get Manager of the Month is a fantastic accolade and I’m really proud of that.”

Walsall beat Stevenage, Portsmouth, Preston and Bournemouth in a superb start to 2013 with their only defeat coming in a 2-0 reverse at Colchester.

The award caps a stunning turnaround after the Saddlers went 16 games without a win between September and December.

Including the 1-0 win over Colchester on December 22, Walsall have won eight of their last 10 games and sit seven points adrift of the play-offs.

Saturday’s 2-1 win at joint leaders Doncaster kept them ninth in before wins for Sheffield United, Yeovil and Brentford widen the gap to the top six.

Walsall host managerless Notts County tomorrow just one win away from their survival target of 50 points.

Smith played down the Saddlers’ play-off chances this week and is eager for his side to remain under the radar and paid tribute to his players and staff.

He added: “It was as really good month. The only thing which hit it was losing Richard O’Kelly, then February comes and we lost David Kelly.

“It was a really good month for the football club, myself the staff and the players. They have all played a part in getting the award and it was well deserved, because we played some really good stuff.”

Comments for: "Dean Smith is named Manager of the Month"

snoddy

I thought it was Dean Saunders for a minute

Paul

A great achievement in a division now laced with powerful and more wealthier clubs. Would have been easy to pull the trigger on him before Christmas so well done all on your turnaround - hope it continues.

Regards from the South Bank... where we are waiting... and waiting too.

Les Mason

Well done Dean and congratuilations on sticking to your football principles.The youngsters are proving a masterstroke coupled with the old heads of the team. Make sure you sign Brandy.He is a match winner and scares the life out of the League one defenders.All are pulling their weight now and when you look at the bench any one of them could figure from the start.

Hope the award is not the kiss of death as it sometimes is!

Let's perform another double over Notts County.

Ghost of Glen Hoddle

League One’s Manager of the Month - Next season it could be the other Dean S.

Penhevad

Well earned Dino, well earned - what a turn around!

Has anyone been nominated for our own Assistant Manager of the Month Award yet?

Darkosblisteringpace

Fair play Deano..... 3 months ago I would'nt have given you a prayer of being in a job, let alone this award...RESPECT !!

Michael Vale

Dean Smith is doing an extremely good job and has grown into the job of football manager. He has earned the right to receive praise and recognition for his work so congratulatios and very well done to Dean Smith.

Adrian mills

wel done mr smith lets dream some more and make the play offs i need a good weekend away

Jane De Reuck

What an awesome achievement. I'm a ex-Walsall girl living in South Africa, but still follow you faithfully. Go guys - get the promotion you deserve!