Date:Thursday March 30 2006
News of Rob Kelly's Coca-Cola Championship manager of the month award for March brought a ringing endorsement from his chairman and the strongest hint yet that Kelly will soon be offered a long-term contract.
Said chairman Jim McCahill after the announcement: 'The club's impressive run has not only lifted the spirits of everyone connected with Leicester City but confirmed to the board, Rob's genuine managerial qualities and desire to succeed.'
Being named Manager of the Month for March was City's first such award this season.
Kelly, presently manager until the end of the season, beat off competition from Terry Westley of Derby County, Millwall's David Tuttle and Paul Sturrock of Sheffield Wednesday.
The panel which made the award comprised Sky Sports soccer pundit Chris Kamara, former World Cup referee Jack Taylor, and John Barnwell, chief executive of the League managers association.
Leicester have been unbeaten during March, winning three matches and drawing at home to runaway League leaders Reading.
Kelly said afterwards: 'I am thrilled for everyone at the club because it has been a real team effort. It is recognition for the hard work the players, staff and supporters have put in to help us improve our situation.'
The Foxes are now 11 points clear of the Championship relegation zone with six games remaining this term having collected an impressive 21 from 30 points since Kelly took over as manager at the end of January.
Chairman Jim McCahill added: 'Rob and his team have gone a long way to easing our relegation concerns and we are now within touching distance of Championship survival.
'On behalf of the board, I'd like to congratulate him for that.'
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