We are delighted to announce that Ryan Lowe & Jay O'Shea have been named Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month and Player of the Month respectively, for the second time this season.
In the previous five seasons since Sky Bet have sponsored the EFL, there has never been the same manager and player winning the award twice in a season before, in any of the three divisions.
What entertainment at Gigg Lane this season. It stems from Lowe, who refused to grind out results at home to promotion rivals MK Dons and Lincoln. Instead, the games ended 4-3 and 3-3, respectively, as Bury collected 13 points from five games.
Lowe said: “It’s nice to be recognised for the work we’re doing. A lot of credit has to go to my staff and my players because without them it wouldn’t be possible.
“It shows that the work we’re doing, the style of football we’re playing is getting recognised for the right reasons. We’re scoring goals and doing ever so well, so long may that continue.
“The hard work gets harder now, the games are coming thick and fast and we’re nearly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel because there are only 14 games after Saturday left, but we’re relishing it.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “If there was an end of season award for the most entertaining side in League Two, Ryan Lowe’s Bury would probably have it already wrapped up.
“Unleashing the attacking talent at his disposal, the score lines in the month tell their own story: 3-1, 0-1, 4-3, 1-2, 3-3. The League Two top scorers show no signs of the goals drying up and their promotion challenge is on track.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Ryan Lowe guided his Bury side to four wins and a draw in January to see his team progress to third place in the table. The Shakers are now 13/2 for the title but a more realistic target will be promotion straight back to League One. They are currently as short as 4/9 for promotion.”
The Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel comprises former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.
Bury midfielder Jay O’Shea was also named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for January.
Jay is having the goalscoring season of his life. Five more came in January and all but one either equalised or gave Bury the lead.
All kinds, too, from a lovely driving run and shot at Forest Green to a low fizzer against Lincoln.
Bury manager Ryan Lowe said: “Jay’s been superb for us this season, along with a lot of them, but to be recognised as well with a Manager & Player of the Month double is nice.
“Jay will take the accolade for it and rightly so, but he’s got a team behind him who’ve been producing for him and Jay will know and understand that.
“He’s been a breath of fresh air this year, the Bury fans didn’t see the best of him last season, but this season he’s been by far one of the best players and I was over the moon when the extra year in his contract kicked in because we knew we had him for an extra year.”
Jay said: “It’s brilliant, these awards are nice, but what we set out at the start of the season was to get promoted, so these will mean nothing if we don’t go up.
“The team have been excellent, I think everyone at the club has been from the staff all the way down, and the supporters have been great this season so it definitely helps when everyone is chipping in together.
“I’m really enjoying my role this season, it was a little bit different for me at the start so it took a few games to get used to it, with a lot of coaching from the staff as well.
“I’ve only ever won one of these before this season, so to win two in three months is excellent.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “O’Shea is revelling playing with freedom under Ryan Lowe and paying his manager back with a shed load of goals.
“Not only were the goals a delight to watch, but they came at crucial periods of games.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Jay O’Shea has been in the goalscoring form of his life this season. The midfielder now has 13 for the season and is Bury’s second top scorer. He’s a 50/1 shot to win the golden boot.”
The judging panel for the Sky Bet Player of the Month comprises Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.