West Brom's Darren Moore and Dwight Gayle scoop September awards
Albion manager Darren Moore has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for September – with striker Dwight Gayle scooping the top player prize.
Moore's attack-minded Baggies side collected 13 points from five games, scored 12 goals and briefly went top.
He said: “It means everything to win this, because it shows progression with the football club, it shows the club is heading in the right direction. It means a lot to me, but obviously sitting here, I get to pick up this award but I share it with everybody: the staff, players, supporters. Everybody at the football club shares in this award, I suppose I have just got the head title to pick it up.
“The players have tried to buy into what we are trying to do here together as a group, and they are working well together. There is a good team dynamic, there is a good cohesion with the group, and all the staff behind the scenes have bought into it, in trying to bring an energy to the football club.
“We realise it is only a start, there is still a lot of hard work ahead. It is a tough Championship campaign and we know it is a relentless pursuit, but one that we’re just gravitating day by day and trying to get better as we go along.”
Five goals in five games in September was enough to win the player award for Gayle.
A magical individual effort and a rapier-like finish against Stoke City, calmness against Bristol City, predatory instincts against Millwall and a stunning free-kick at Preston North End.
Moore said: “His enthusiasm, his energy, his confidence and his positivity in and around the football club have been second to none.
“He is an experienced player in the Championship, a very, very good player and a goalscorer. He brings a calmness and goal prowess to us.
“He is scoring the goals but he will want to credit his team-mates for giving him the chances to put the ball in the back of the net. He’s a great player and we’re really pleased to have him on board – and in terms of him as a person and his personality, he is absolutely fantastic.”
Gayle said: “It is a great achievement for myself and I am really pleased for the individual award, but obviously I have got to thank my team for it and they were vital to the reason I got it.
“We are trying to play a different brand of football and everyone is pulling in the same direction. I think the staff and players are working really well together and I think if that continues we are going to have a good season.
“After the first couple of games I hadn’t scored and you start putting an extra bit of pressure on yourself, and the longer that goes I think it becomes more difficult. But luckily I have managed to get a few goals now and I feel like I have settled in and hopefully I can just continue to repay the team for helping me settle in.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit and former Albion striker Don Goodman said: “Gayle has proven time and time again that he can deliver at this level and the way that he’s played throughout September will be a worrying sight for West Brom’s promotion rivals.
“He started the month, with two wonderful goals against the bookie’s pre-season favourites Stoke City, set the tone and he didn’t look back’’
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Gayle is different class at this level. Five goals in as many games in September.
“It’s not just his goals but his clever movement off the ball and selfless running and he has also chipped in with a few assists as well. He rightfully sits as the favourite at the head of the Championship Top Goalscorer market at 3/1.”