Derby County manager Steve McClaren has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for December.

It was a month to remember for McClaren, whose side picked up 19 points from 21 and outscored their opponents by a huge 18-6 margin.

He placed the emphasis on free-flowing attacking play as the Rams moved up to second.

Alan Curbishley, who chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel, said: "Steve McClaren has enjoyed a fantastic return to Derby County where his side's outstanding form has put them in contention for automatic promotion.

"To secure 19 points in one month is an extremely notable feat."

Sky Sports' Football League pundit Don Goodman said: "Steve McClaren's best asset is his coaching and he has inherited a talented group of young players who needed organising and coaching. He is ideally suited to lead Derby on a promotion charge this season.

"An outstanding December was built on some positive signs earlier on in his reign to leave Derby County challenging for the top spot at the start of the year."

Sky Bet Head of Football Paul Wiggins said: "An unbeaten December has seen Steve McClaren's Derby County climb the table.

"McClaren has signed the highly-rated Chelsea youngster Patrick Bamford on loan to bolster his attacking options."

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