TIGERS ON A ROLL
Nigel Adkins and Jarrod Bowen are rewarded for Hull City’s fine form
IT WAS a spectacular end to the year for Hull City – and now they’ve got the trophies to prove it!
After scooping 16 points from six games to zoom away from the relegation zone, boss Nigel Adkins has been rewarded with the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month trophy for December, while winger Jarrod Bowen has picked up the Player of the Month prize.
Tigers boss Adkins said: “It’s great recognition for all of the hard work that the players and the staff have been putting in.
“The run of form that we’ve been on and the momentum that we have picked up is down to everybody working hard for each other.”
The highly-rated Bowen, 22, who scored six goals in the month, added: “I’m delighted to win the award but it was a good month for the whole team and everybody played their part.
“We won every game with the exception of the draw at Millwall and it’s a run that has pushed us right up the table.
“We’ve got some big games coming up this month now and we’ll keep working hard and looking to improve.”
In League One, Nathan Jones, now in charge at Stoke, bagged the manager prize for his successful month at Luton (see centre-pages).
Peterborough striker Ivan Toney scooped the player accolade after netting five goals, including a hattrick at Accrington Stanley to round off the month.
Posh manager Steve Evans said: “I have said it before, Ivan Toney is a top Championship striker. I have worked with players like Chris Wood and Lewis Grabban and Ivan has all the talent in the world.
“He has scored 17 goals in all competitions now and enjoyed a fantastic December with ten goals in all competitions and five in League One including a wonderful hat-trick, his second hat-trick in 19 days, at Accrington Stanley.”
Toney, 22, said: “I am enjoying my football, I am scoring goals and helping the team which is what it is all about. The manager has been great for me, he knows what I can do and tells me when I am not reaching those levels.
“I had a good month and hopefully I can carry that through until the end of the season. I know the level I want to get to.”
In League Two, Grimsby manager Michael Jolley took the honours after his side won four of their five fixtures to charge away from danger.
“I’m really pleased,” he said. “It’s recognition for the whole football club and the progress that we’ve made, certainly in recent months – culminating in a really strong December.
“I think Manager of the Month is always a bit of a misnomer because it’s really team of the month – it’s based on the results of the team over that period.
“It’s credit to our players that they came through that period, and delivered some really good performances.”
Meanwhile, Carlisle skipper Danny Grainger has scooped the December player gong after playing a major part in their surge up the League Two table.
The 32-year-old left-back weighed in with three goals and an assist, as well as helping the Cumbrians notch two clean sheets in his four games. “It’s nice to get the personal recognition but it’s definitely one for the team,” he said. “There could have been four or five of us up for this award because the whole team has been playing well.
“To win the Goal of the Month award then the Player of the Month award in successive months is nice, but I’d trade them all in to make sure we’re at the top end of the league come the end of the season.”
TOP FORM: Jarrod Bowen scored twice in Hull’s 2-0 victory at Leeds in late December and, inset, shows off his prize with boss Nigel Adkins
WINNERS: Carlisle captain Danny Grainger, Peterborough striker Ivan Toney and Grimsby boss Michael Jolley