Derby County duo win Championship awards for December
Derby County duo Gary Rowett and Scott Carson have been handed Sky Bet Championship awards for December.
The Rams have risen into the automatic promotion spots after a dominant December which saw them take 16 points from a possible 18 in the league.
And now they have received recognition for their efforts from the EFL by scooping a December double.
Boss Rowett has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for December and goalkeeper Carson the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for December.
On winning the manager award, Rowett said: “It’s a great accolade for us, and I say us because although it’s me picking up the award, there’s a lot of people behind the scenes who’ve worked incredibly hard, my immediate staff that have been with me for a while plus the people we inherited at the club.
“I think the players have grown in belief and camaraderie throughout the season, and sometimes it takes a bit of time to create that synergy amongst the players because we’ve started the season with a lot of change in terms of new faces and players leaving.
“December was certainly a good month for us and you could see a lot of that work in action, we only conceded one goal in the whole month in six games, winning some really tough games on paper and performing really well.”
While keeper Carson showcased his shot-stopping ability throughout the month with vital saves in each of the five games in which he kept clean sheets and preserved points for his side.
Rowett added: “Scott has had a fantastic season so far and certainly had a very good December.
“I’m sure he’d be the first to say that the team as a whole has defended really well and to concede only one goal is a real team effort.
“But within that he’s made, probably, one big save every game and he’s made that big save at a crucial moment that has made sure that we’ve gone on to win those games comfortably.
“He’s had a really strong season, his attitude to training has been fantastic, he’s an incredibly hard working goalkeeper day to day, which you don’t see but for me his performances on a Saturday are just a by-product of the fact his mentality in the week is so strong.”
Carson said: “It’s something I’m really proud of. It’s a trophy I’ve never had in my career, so I’m very honoured to get it and hopefully I can continue my form.
“A lot of it was down to the whole team, the whole squad, we’ve been working really hard pressing the ball and the defenders have been putting their bodies on the line with headers, blocks and the award just proves how good a unit we’ve been.
“It’s been easier for me physically because I don’t have to run around and do 10km every game, and it’s more of a mental thing for goalkeepers, making sure you’re fully focused on the games.”