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McGreal Wins December Award

6 January 2017

John rewarded for unbeaten month.

A goalless stalemate at Mansfield was followed by a 2-1 win at home against Notts County, and then two away wins at Luton and Stevenage over the festive period put the U's into the top ten.

Following two victories at the end of November, McGreal guided the U's through December unbeaten, drawing one and winning three of their four fixtures.

U's boss John McGreal has been named Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for December.



McGreal took the award ahead of the three other League Two nominees, Shaun Derry (Cambridge), Paul Tisdale (Exeter) and Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe), and was obviously pleased with the recognition.


"We’ve changed the system, had players come back from injury and the whole squad has had the belief and talent to go out there and perform.

"It’s very flattering to receive the award," he told the official website, "Steve Ball and I are obviously delighted, but the credit must go to the players for the way they’ve adapted to what we’ve asked them to do." 
"They’ve shown what they are capable of and we all want to continue December’s form into the New Year and the second half of the season."

"Even during the run without winning, they believed in themselves and the results in December were a reward for their hard work and application.



The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports’ EFL League expert Don Goodman, EFL Marketing Director Drew Barrand, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery.
"It is great to see a young manager doing well in his first job and John is certainly doing that at Colchester United.George Burley chairs the judging panel and said: 

"After having a difficult spell, he changed his formation round to bring the best out of his players and that has worked very impressively as they gained three wins and a draw in December. 

"Colchester United are a club committed to bringing young players through and John is showing that he is the ideal person to do that."

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: "It’s fair to say the start of the season didn’t go entirely to plan for McGreal or Colchester and at one stage it appeared they could be in for a difficult struggle against relegation.
 
"But the team rallied around their manager in December and an unbeaten run leaves them in a much more comfortable position at the turn of the year."

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: "Colchester were teetering at the end of November, so McGreal will be really pleased with the month. 


"He switched systems to 3-5-2 and was able to gently re-introduce often injured frontman Chris Porter to his lineup whilst maintaining a steady run of results which saw a 0-0 draw at resolute Mansfield followed by a 22/1 treble of wins that has them back on the edge of the Play-Off places."

  

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