Barnsley FC chief vying with rival bosses at Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers and Cheltenham Town for League One monthly gong

BARNSLEY head coach Neill Collins is among the four-strong list of nominees for the Sky Bet League One manager-of-the-month accolade for October.

Appointed at Oakwell in early July, the Scot - who played for Sheffield United and Leeds United in his playing career - has made a sound start to his tenure at the club.

October proved particularly productive for the Reds, who boosted their top-six claims with a tidy haul of 11 points in five unbeaten games, featuring three clean sheets.

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Collins’s side kicked off with back-to-back away triumphs at Cambridge United and Exeter City before drawing 1-1 at Leyton Orient - which ended their hopes of securing a club-record sixth successive league away win.

Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Barnsley returned to Oakwell to comprehensively beat Shrewsbury Town 3-0 and ended the month with a 2-2 home draw with Fleetwood Town.

Collins is competing for the award with Cheltenham Town chief Darrell Clarke, Bolton Wanderers rival Ian Evatt and Portsmouth boss John Mousinho.

Clarke, who took over a Cheltenham side who had claimed just one point and no goals from their opening 10 league games, has presided over an impressive return of seven points in five games to galvanise the club’s ailing fortunes, including wins over Cambridge and Port Vale and a battling draw with Derby County.

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Evatt’s Bolton won four of their five league games last month, with eight different scorers finding the net, while Mousinho led high-flying Pompey through a second successive unbeaten month, earning 13 points from five games.

The winners will be announced on Friday morning at 6am, with the judging panel including former Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United manager, Danny Wilson and Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman.

Former Bradford City player Jordan Gibson, now at Carlisle United, is in the running for the player’s gong for October alongside ex-Doncaster Rovers striker Alfie May and former Leeds United defender Conor Shaughnessy, now at Portsmouth. Wycombe’s Luke Leahy is the other nominee.