Ross managed his squad superbly during a hectic February run of five games in 15 days.

Along with the earlier win over AFC Wimbledon, the 12 points they earned from six unbeaten fixtures lifted them back into the automatic promotion picture.

Ross said: “It’s always nice to be nominated. It’s a surprise to receive it because of the record of some of the other people in this league. While it is me who picks it up, it is very much a reflection of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes and the staff that are involved in that.”

George Burley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.

He said: “February was busier for Sunderland than most. Playing six matches, including five in 15 days, and remaining unbeaten took skilful management of resources and the team rewarded Jack by climbing to third in the table with a game in hand over Barnsley, their closest rival.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “After handing the automatic promotion initiative to the two teams above them with three consecutive draws in the middle of the month, Sunderland bounced back in style, scoring six goals in their final two game, as their January signings bedded into the team.

“A mouth-watering tie against Barnsley next Tuesday could go some way into deciding the fate of Ross’ debut season in the EFL, but Sunderland will go into it full of confidence after a superb February.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Jack Ross’s Sunderland are undefeated in their last 16 games in all competitions and have a day out at Wembley to look forward to in the Checkatrade Final at the end of the month.

“They are firmly in the chase for automatic promotion as well and currently sit third in League One with a game hand, which would put them second.

“The Black Cats are now odds-on at 5/6 for promotion back to the Sky Bet Championship having been as big as 11/8 a few weeks ago. They are 8/1 for the title.”


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