Ranked! The 10 best managers in the Football League
3. Gary Rowett (Derby)
Arguably the most respected opposition manager in the EFL, the majority of neutral observers were left aghast when Birmingham’s new owners, Trillion Trophy Asia, decided to axe Rowett last December following two years of undisputed overachievement.
The 43-year-old has yet to taste promotion in five years as a manager - indeed, he describes his career to date as only "semi-successful" - but he laid the foundations for Burton to climb two divisions in successive seasons. On top of that, no amount of money invested at St Andrew’s since his departure can airbrush the restrictions under which he was operating before the takeover.
2. Garry Monk (Middlesbrough)
The bar was set extremely high in the race for the Championship play-offs last season, and though Leeds ultimately came up short, it was nonetheless a remarkable achievement to amass 75 points with a club that carries such a heavy weight of expectation on bottom-half resources.
Now at Middlesbrough, Monk starts from a stronger base and can bank on greater support in the transfer market. His ability to break a team down by its component parts, make each more effective, and then put it back together should ensure that Boro waste no time dwelling on the disappointment of relegation.
1. Slavisa Jokanovic (Fulham)
Fulham are most people’s idea of the best team in the Championship since the turn of 2017, executing a scintillating brand of possession football that belongs at the highest level. It's a complete shift from the more functional approach that Jokanovic deployed to take Watford up in 2015, but it only serves to demonstrate his adaptability.
The Serbian is an old romantic at heart, professing an undying love for Brian Clough and traditional English football stadia, and the Cottagers will take some stopping if they carry on this season where they left off last.