Top Boss Pards Bags Award

Last updated : 03 March 2003 By Rob Cooper
The former Crystal Palace man received the award after the Royals won all five of their matches in February.

It is the second time this season that Pards has been honoured with such an award, back in November he also received the acknowledgement when his team went on a similar run.

The match started well with a 5-2 win at Burnley, the teams first win of 2003. That was followed up with a 2-1 win over Burnely in Luke Chadwick's debut game for the Reading.

Since then Pardew's side won at Millwall before doing the unthinkable and defeating Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, a ground that has been something of a fortress recently. The month was finished off with a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Rotherham.

The fine form has moved the team up to third in the league. A defeat at Wimbledon at the weekend dampened hightened expectations slightly but Reading are still well placed to make a push for the Premiership.

The Manager of the Month Award is said to be cursed with many sides going through a run of poor form after their boss has received the accolade. Alan Pardew though does not believe there is any such curse.

"I'm not even going to answer questions about a jinx because I don't believe in them," he said to the Reading Evening Post, before adding: "The next four or five games are crucial and we have to make sure we pick up some points.

"I would say the next four games are possibly the hardest of our campaign with the possible exception of the start of the season. After that, though, I don't think our run-in is the end of the world.

"We were a bit off-colour on Saturday, but nothing major to worry about and I expect to see a response on Wednesday at Norwich.

"If we were two points off the play-offs I would be highly delighted, but we're nine points inside them. I said to the boys on Saturday ‘You have got a better chance of playing in the Premiership next season than Sunderland or West Brom’."