TIGERS ON A ROLL

Nigel Ad­kins and Jar­rod Bowen are re­warded for Hull City’s fine form

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By John Lyons

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.

Tal­ent

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.

Pleased

“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.”

PIC­TURE: PA Images

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

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