The award for manager and player of the month in the Football League is set to be announced on Friday, with the season's runaway leaders at the fore of the nominees.
GMF profiles the managers and players in contention for this month's Npower Championship award.
Gus Poyet - Brighton and Hove Albion
Questions over the Uruguayan's ability to step up to the Championship have been firmly answered this season after 13 points from a possible 15 at the start of the campaign. The most impressive showing came away at Cardiff, where Malky McKay's side were swept aside by The Seagulls' attractive brand of football.
Nigel Adkins - Southampton
Saints' unbeaten record may have been ruined with defeat at Leicester City, but in truth Adkins' side have been every bit as impressive as their south-coast rivals. Wins over Leeds United on the opening day, and at Ipswich Town have particularly caught the eye.
Nigel Clough - Derby County
Clough has produced the perfect repost to those who felt his days were numbered at Pride Park with four wins from five at the start of the season. The club's away form, which saw them win just five times in the league last season appears to have been sorted, with wins at Watford and Blackpool already registered.
Tony Mowbray - Middlesbrough
Another manager who may have had cause for concern after a mid-table finish last season was Mowbray. Consistency was key for Boro in the new campaign, and with an unbeaten start, including three wins to boot, the club are going in the right direction.
Marvin Emnes - Middlesbrough
The Dutchman has already scored more goals this season than in the entire of last term for Boro, helping Mowbray's side shoot up the league. He begun by scoring in each of the club's first four games, which included a hat-trick against Walsall and a breathtaking winner against Leeds United.
Luke Steele - Barnsley
It may have been an inauspicious start from The Tykes this season, but for Luke Steele one stand out performance caught the eye. Clean sheets against Nottingham Forest and Millwall were impressive, but the saving of two penalties at the Madejski Stadium against Reading from Ian Harte and Noel Hunt adds to the 26-year-old's glowing reputation.
Adam Lallana - Southampton
At times the forgotten man in Saints' League One promotion side amidst the goals of Ricky Lambert, but at last Lallana is taking centre stage. Southampton's win over Ipswich may have not only produced the team performance of the season so far, but also the individual performance, as Lallana scored twice and made another to cap a memorable win.
Kevin Phillips - Blackpool
Rolling back the years after being released by Birmingham, Phillips has twice shown how valuable a proven goalscorer can be to any side's arsenal. His double secured The Tangerine's first home win of the season, but his late pair against in-form Brighton, including a stoppage time volley at the Amex, was the highlight.
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