NIGEL Worthington has admitted his second Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month award as York City boss has given him as much pleasure as the first.
The former Northern Ireland chief picked up the honours during the final month of last season when a run of four wins and two draws secured the Minstermen's Football League status.
This time around, a sequence of six wins and one draw, including six clean sheets, has thrust his team into play-off contention, securing Worthington the managerial accolade for March after seeing off challenges from fellow nominees Russ Wilcox, Keith Hill and Wayne Burnett - his respective counterparts at Scunthorpe, tomorrow's hosts Rochdale and Dagenham & Redbridge.
Worthington also insisted he should not receive all the recognition for his side's efforts during the third month of the calendar year.
He said: "To get the award at any time is a very nice thing to happen because not everybody gets them, but you have got to share the praise and acclaim around the place so, I am delighted to get it, but I pick it up on behalf of all the staff and players. I am very conscious of that because, in football, no one person can ever do anything on their own and that's certainly the situation at York City, where everybody has been working ever so hard."
City forward Michael Coulson, meanwhile, was beaten to the Player of the Month prize by Rochdale midfielder Jamie Allen but Worthington felt the former Scarborough and Barnsley attacker's appearance on the shortlist was merited, as much as for his team work as for the three winning goals he contributed in March following a switch to a central striking role.
"Michael deserved that recognition because he has enjoyed playing up the middle and has worked hard to keep his place up there," Worthington pointed out. "He's an example of if you work hard and want something enough, you will get it, so credit to him.
"I like what he's given us as an individual but he's more of a team person, whether that's scoring goals or chasing back to win a tackle. That kind of thing is most valuable in terms of where we are at this moment in time."
City have now gone through February and March undefeated but Worthington has warned his players that there can be no drop in standards if they are to extend that record into a third month at the home of league leaders Rochdale.
"It's a great game for us and we have got to be absolutely ready for a real competitive, footballing encounter," Worthington added. "Their manager is very disciplined in his work on the team, as you can see by the way they set up, so it's imperative that each and everyone of us is spot on because, if anybody is less than that, we could be in for a little shock and you don't want shocks at this time of the season.
"Every little bit counts now. They want three points for automatic promotion and we want them to stay in the play-off picture; they are top of the table and we are on a good run ourselves, so it's game on."
Despite an 11-game unbeaten run, the City manager has also suggested that he will not shy away from making changes to his team if needed, having preferred loan signing Ryan Brobbel to Ryan Jarvis in the starting line-up for last weekend's 0-0 home draw with Burton.
"If somebody has not been doing it or can't do it, then I will have no hesitation in making changes because nothing is ever about individuals - it's about what is right for the football club," Worthington vowed. "I am always on people's cases and it's important that every player stays focussed, committed and disciplined in every shape and form."
Striker Calvin Andrew could be in contention for his full City debut after substitute outings in the last two games with a deflected Will Hayhurst goal representing the only occasion Worthington's men have netted in almost four-and-a-half hours of football.
"He is not far away," Worthington said of Andrew's readiness for a place in the first XI. "He has done 15 minutes as a substitute followed by half-an-hour and has got ten or 11 days of training with us under his belt.
"He knows what we are all about and what's required of him and, if the opportunity arises and I have not decided whether that will be tomorrow or not, then the ball will be in his court."