Middlesbrough's Duncan Watmore and Brentford's Thomas Frank win Sky Bet Championship December awards
Middlesbrough striker Duncan Watmore has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for December.
The 26-year-old was the division’s leading goalscorer in the month with five goals in less than 400 minutes on the pitch. Injuries left him without a club before joining Boro in November, but his ability to convert chances is still present.
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “The purpose of taking a short-term contract in the middle of a campaign is to prove your worth, and you won’t see a finer example than Duncan Watmore.
- Championship fixtures
- Championship table
“The frontman has only been at Boro since November, but his impact has been immediate. More established strikers were left in his wake during December, as he led the league with his five goals – a feat that has deservedly earned him a new contract at the Riverside.”
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for December.
Adjusting to life in a new stadium after a Play-Off final defeat and without Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma has not been easy, but Frank’s constant message to his team paid off in December with 18 points from eight difficult fixtures.
Frank said: “This award is one for the team. No manager or head coach will win an award like this without a great team of staff and players going in the same direction. I think that is my job, to ensure everyone is pulling together, and I am delighted that, as a team, we have won this award.
“We played nine games in December and were unbeaten. That is a fantastic achievement. Across the whole of Europe, no team has played more games than Brentford this season. It takes a big effort from everyone to continue to perform to such a high level and everyone should be really proud.”
Sky Bet League One
Player: Owen Dale, Crewe Alexandra
Crewe Alexandra winger Owen Dale has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for December.
With much of Crewe’s attacking play coming down their left wing, Dale stepped in from the right to contribute four goals and an assist.
- League One fixtures
- League One table
Not ordinary goals either, a solo run and finish against Plymouth and a stunning overhead kick at Burton.
Dale said: “I am very happy to win this award, especially in the company of those that were also nominated.
“It was a good month for me personally but more importantly the team. We are in good form and the results and performances have been there for a while.
“It is a pleasure to play in this team and without my team-mates I wouldn’t be scoring goals or getting the recognition I have.”
Manager: Steve Cotterill, Shrewsbury Town
Shrewsbury Town manager Steve Cotterill has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for December.
Cotterill took over a side in 23rd place and with horrendous-looking December fixtures, but masterminded away wins at Hull, Lincoln and Doncaster, and victory over in-form Blackpool for a 15-point haul.
Goodman said: “Things looked pretty bleak for Shrewsbury when Steve Cotterill took over, but their prospects look a whole lot brighter after a miraculous run of form over the month of December.
“Cotterill’s arrival produced 15 vital points, despite a horrid run of games on paper. The Shrews began playing for their new manager, and their new-found determination was clear as day. A superb period, headlined by three massive victories on the road.”
Sky Bet League Two
Player: Max Watters, Crawley Town
Crawley Town striker Max Watters has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for December.
Another six goals in six games for the 21-year-old striker who seemingly came from nowhere prior to joining Crawley in October. Two superb finishes as a substitute at Mansfield were followed by a poacher’s hat-trick against Barrow.
- League Two fixtures
- League Two table
Crawley manager John Yems said: “Max has been a top lad since we picked him up at the beginning of the season and has given us goals that have been so important so far this season.”
Watters said: “It’s an honour to win this award. It’s all thanks to the lads in the team and the management staff. John Yems and Lee Bradbury have been amazing with me since I joined here a few months ago.”
Manager: Derek Adams, Morecambe
Morecambe manager Derek Adams has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for December.
The perennial relegation strugglers are now contenders thanks to Adams, who has instilled belief and fresh ambitions into the Lancashire club. They won five of their six December games, including all four home fixtures.
Adams said: “We’re obviously delighted. I think we’ve had an excellent December period where we took five wins from some really tough games and collected 15 points to put ourselves in the play-off positions. It was an excellent month for myself, the team and Carlos Gomes, who was shortlisted for the Player of the Month. It’s testament to the whole squad.
“We’ve been a team that has progressed well throughout the season. We’ve been unfortunate in games to have not picked up more points but with the way we’ve created chances, we’re up there with the best teams in the league.”
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