Rotherham's Matt Crooks and Swansea's Steve Cooper win Sky Bet Championship January awards

Rotherham's Matt Crooks and Swansea's Steve Cooper win in Championship; Rochdale's Matthew Lund and Hull's Grant McCann win in League One; Cambridge pair Wes Hoolahan and Mark Bonner win in League Two

Image: Rotherham United midfielder Matt Crooks has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for January.

Rotherham United midfielder Matt Crooks has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for January.  

Not always the easiest on the eye, Crooks' technique is under-appreciated, witness his low volley against Middlesbrough, one of three January goals he scored bursting from midfield to mark the anniversary of his friend Jordan Sinnott's untimely death.

Crooks said: "I'm obviously delighted to win the individual award. I know it sounds a bit cliche but I'd like to thank the staff and all of the lads for putting together a good set of results and performances that have allowed me to produce the form that I have over the last month or so.

"The lads as a collective have been brilliant, so credit must go to them too.

"Obviously the award is for the month of January, a year on from Sin's [Jordan Sinnott's] passing. I'd like to think he's looking down on me and has given me some luck for the month and something for us all to smile about.

"We have the charity set up in his memory which we're continuing to put a lot of work into away from football. If anyone would like to take a look or make a small donation that would be wonderful and would be greatly appreciated by all of us.

"The website is www.js25.co.uk - we're just getting started but if anyone would like to support us, you'd be more than welcome."

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Swansea City manager Steve Cooper has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for January.

A difficult-looking run of fixtures, including meetings with promotion rivals Watford and Brentford, was navigated with ease by Cooper whose ability to adapt his side's style helped accumulate 10 points from four unbeaten games.

Sky Sports' EFL pundit Don Goodman said: "January looked a tricky month on paper for the Swans, but Steve Cooper's side rose to the task admirably. While balancing an impressive-looking FA Cup run, they picked up 10 points from a possible twelve in the league, despite a couple of tricky looking away games against Barnsley & Rotherham.

"Swansea are set to be right in the mix for automatic promotion to the Premier League if they can maintain this consistency, and if they do, they'll reflect on the month of January as being very significant."

Sky Bet League One

Player: Matthew Lund, Rochdale

Rochdale midfielder Matthew Lund has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for January.

No player typifies Rochdale's all-action approach better than Lund, combining creativity and passing ability with energy and coolness in front of goal, and constantly bursting forward to score four goals and add three assists.

Lund said: "Personally, and for the squad, it's a positive thing for us all. I'm glad I've got the recognition for January because I thought it was a good month for me. Having scored a few goals I thought I might be in contention to win it, so it's obviously nice to be recognised and for people to see what we're doing at Rochdale.

"I'm full of confidence - I always go into games thinking I can score goals. This year it has probably paid off a little bit more and the chances seem to be going in a lot more, which I'm pleased about from a personal aspect.

"It's something that I always look to do in games, get close to goal and try to get as many as I can for the season. They're coming a little bit faster than they usually do, so I'm quite happy with that."

Manager: Grant McCann, Hull

Hull City manager Grant McCann has been named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for January.

No League One team accumulated more points in January, with 14 from their seven games. McCann managed his squad superbly, keeping his players fresh and hungry, never more so than in the stunning 4-0 win at Portsmouth.

McCann said: "It's pleasing but this award is not about me, it's about the collective. It's about the team, it's about the squad, it's about the staff. We've made a real conscious effort this year that everything is about us.

"There's no 'I', we're all in this together. We talk about the 'surrender the me for the we' and that's what we're about. This year, it's all about us.

"I'm pleased for everyone that we've been recognised for the 14 points from the seven games in January. It was a good turn of form from the new year that has put us in a good position."

Sky Bet League Two

Player: Wes Hoolahan, Cambridge

Cambridge United winger Wes Hoolahan has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for January.

It is such a pity that League Two fans are missing out on seeing Hoolahan's silky smooth skills first hand. The 38-year-old danced his way around and through defences in January, contributing two goals and two assists as Cambridge went top.

Hoolahan said: "It's been a great month. We won so many games and went through January unbeaten, so it really has been a positive month. It's certainly been nice to get the assists and a couple of goals to go with it. I'm delighted to win this award, but I couldn't have done it without any of the other lads.

"It's going really well, I'm hoping we can continue this journey and pick up plenty more points along the way."

Manager: Mark Bonner, Cambridge

Cambridge United manager Mark Bonner has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for January.

A stellar start to the season was followed by an early winter swoon, which makes his team's January renaissance all the more remarkable, collecting 14 points from six unbeaten games as they moved back to the top of League Two.

Bonner said: "It's a privilege to receive this award on behalf of the team after a tough and challenging, but ultimately rewarding month in January.

"Off the back of a disappointing December, and in amongst the testing conditions bought about by Covid and the weather, we have shown a resilience and grit in many of the performances to come out on the right side of the results.

"We hope that the lessons learned and the results gained strengthen our belief and confidence as we eat into the second half of the season.

"The challenges ahead are big ones, but we are enjoying competing to remain in the top half of the table, and remain motivated to continue fighting to stay there.

"This particular award is testament to the committed and skilled team behind the team, and to the players themselves for some excellent performances."

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