Middlesbrough striker Chuba Akpom has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for December.

Having gained confidence while playing in a more withdrawn role, Akpom continued his fine form with four goals in as many games – all of them poached while leading the line. His hat-trick at Wigan showed off his lightning-quick feet.

Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick said, “I’m delighted for Chuba. He’s been playing really well and I’m sure he’d be the first to acknowledge the role of his team-mates in laying the foundations. Individual awards are always good because overall it means you are doing well as a team.”

Akpom said, “I’m grateful and humbled, and it’s amazing to receive the award. I just want to be able to carry on my form and help the team reach our targets.

“We’re going well and it’s been a good season so far. But we’ve a lot of football still to play.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It was close run thing with a number of excellent performances in December, but it’s hard to overlook the impact of Chuba Akpom.

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“His red-hot form led to four goals in four and his output was vital to Middlesbrough’s magnificent rise up the Championship table under Michael Carrick.”

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for December.

Kompany’s leaders answered every question posed of them, cantering to 3-0 wins over QPR and Birmingham, coming from behind to beat Middlesbrough and winning a tight affair at Stoke for 12 points and 10 goals from four games.

Kompany said: “I’m delighted to win this award again, nominated with some fantastic managers in this league. It was a busy period for us over Christmas but everyone played their part and it paid off.

“I would like to give thanks to all the players and staff involved; the coaches, physios, medical, sports science, analysts, kit staff, grounds staff and everyone else who played a part.”

By Vision

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