IN­CRE-DOU­BLE MONTH UP AT THE RIVER­SIDE

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Jamie Holt

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

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