Preston North End’s Alex Neil and Ben Davies nominated for Championship awards
Preston’s good form and their push into play-off contention has been recognised by award nominations for Alex Neil and centre-half Ben Davies.
Neil is on the shortlist for the Championship manager of the month award, with Davies up for the player of the month honour.
During February, North End won three games and drew the other two.
That run saw them climb to 10th place following the 3-1 win at Millwall, although they slipped to 12th after the draw with Bristol City last week.
The competition for Neil comes in the shape of Chris Wilder at Sheffield United, Norwich boss Daniel Farke and Sheffield Wednesday’s Steve Bruce.
Of Neil, award sponsors Sky Bet said: “He is unlucky not to have been nominated before. Alex Neil has improved his side month on month. He then enriched it with some astute January signings.
“With 11 more points from five unbeaten games, the play-offs might be within reach.”
Of his rivals for the award, Wilder saw his Blades side take 13 points from the 15 on offer.
Under Farke, Norwich took 12 points from five games but were beaten 3-1 by North End at Deepdale.
Bruce, who took over as Wednesday boss last month, oversaw six unbeaten games in February.
It comes as no surprise that Davies has been shortlisted for the players’ award.
The 23-year-old has been a mainstay in the defence this season and since January his centre-back partnership with Jordan Storey has blossomed.
He has been a regular in the back four since Neil took over in June 2017, having had a number of spells out on loan previously.
Of Davies’ nomination, a Sky Bet spokesperson said: “The Preston youth product reads the game well and has forged a superb partnership at the back with Jordan Storey.
“North End conceded just three goals in five matches.
“Comfortable in possession, he also powered home a header against Norwich.”
Davies is up against Che Adams, Said Benrahma and Teemu Pukki for the award.
Birmingham City striker Adams scored six goals in five games during February.
Benrahma has been a key figure in Brentford’s midfield, scoring four goals last month.
Pukki, the division’s top scorer, found the net six times in February and provided two assists.
The winners for both of the awards will be announced on Friday morning.
North End make the short trip to Ewood Park to face Blackburn on Saturday, the derby having a noon kick-off.
Neil will run the rule over the fitness of Tom Clarke, who missed the Bristol City game