INCRE-DOUBLE MONTH UP AT THE RIVERSIDE
MIDDLESBROUGH have scooped a double with Aitor Karanka and Lee Tomlin winning January’s Championship manager and player of the month awards.
Boro did not lose a game last month and rose to third in the table, one point behind Bournemouth and Derby County.
They also won 2-0 at Manchester City in the FA Cup and went through the entire month conceding just a single goal.
Tomlin scored twice in the win against Huddersfield and once against Cardiff, bringing his season’s tally to seven.
And Karanka said he always believed the 26-year-old striker would become a key player for Boro.
“I told Lee one year ago that he is a very good player,” said Karanka. “He’s shown everyone what he is capable of.
“When he has the ball something can happen. He is an important player for us.
“We don’t think of these as individual awards. The most important thing is the team and it’s for all the club and all our squad.
“To be nominated with Tommo means they have recognised us as a team.
“The awards are for individuals, but they are a very good thing for the club.
“It’s a very good thing for the squad and means we are doing things properly.”
Tottenham’s new £5m man Dele Alli has won the League One player of the month award, while his MK Dons boss Karl Robinson has been named top boss.
Alli, 18, completed a switch to the north London club on Monday and was immediately loaned back to the Dons until the end of the season.
Robinson’s team went unbeaten through January, with Alli scoring twice.
Robinson said: “It’s been quite a month for Dele and I’m extremely impressed with the way he is handling it all. He is mature beyond his years and that is translating onto the football field with some terrific performances.”
Northampton boss Chris Wilder took the League Two gong, after picking up 13 points from a possible 15, while Tranmere forward Rory Donnelly took the player award for three goals in as many starts to ease Rovers away from the relegation zone with wins over Accrington and Exeter.
The Swansea loanee’s manager, Micky Adams, said:“It’s not a bad start in your first month in League football.
“I’m sure Rory would be the first to pay tribute to his team-mates and the role they all played in helping him win the award.
“It’s a credit to the hard work being done by everyone at the club that one of our players has picked up the trophy.”
Aitor WINNING PAIR: Boro boss
Tomlin Karanka and in-form Lee