Barnsley striker Conor Chaplin and Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate rewarded for December efforts

WINNERS (from left): Barnsley striker Conor Chaplin, Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate and Eoin Doyle, now back at Bradford City after a successful loan spell at Swindon Town. Pics courtesy of EFL.
WINNERS (from left): Barnsley striker Conor Chaplin, Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate and Eoin Doyle, now back at Bradford City after a successful loan spell at Swindon Town. Pics courtesy of EFL.
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BARNSLEY STRIKER Conor Chaplin is celebrating after being named as the Championship’s player of the month for December, while Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate has lifted the managerial monthly accolade.

Former Portsmouth striker Chaplin, 23, was rewarded for an impressive festive month which saw him fire five goals - including a maiden professional hat-trick in a 5-3 success over QPR at Oakwell on December 14.

WINNER: Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

WINNER: Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

Chaplin, who joined the Reds from Coventry last season, also netted in the 3-2 loss at Cardiff on December 7 and the 2-1 success at Millwall a fortnight later.

He beat off competition from Reading goalkeeper Rafael Cabral, Cardiff forward Lee Tomlin and Millwall midfielder Jed Wallace.

In the process, Chaplin has become the Barnsley player to win a monthly award at second-tier level since Oli McBurnie in February 2018, while Sam Winnall picked up the accolade in December 2016.

Speaking ahead of the award announcement, head coach Gerhard Struber said: “I think he created a good performance in every game and it is not a big surprise for me that he was in the team (nominations). I hope for him he stays in the team.”

TOP MAN: Barnsley's Conor Chaplin celebrates a hat-trick against QPR at Oakwell

TOP MAN: Barnsley's Conor Chaplin celebrates a hat-trick against QPR at Oakwell

Meanwhile, Woodgate is celebrating after beating off competition from Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, Reading chief Mark Bowen and Millwall manager Gary Rowett to lift the manager’s accolade for December.

Woodgate has been recognised following an excellent December, which saw his side pick up 13 points from six games to move clear of the relegation zone, headlined by a superb 2-0 win at high-flying West Brom on December 29.

The last Boro boss to win the award was Aitor Karanka in December 2015.

Meanwhile, Bradford City striker Eoin Doyle has lifted the League Two players’ gong for December following his exploits while on loan at Swindon Town.

In the process, the prolific Irishman, who returned to City this week after hitting 23 goals for Swindon, has become the first player to win the award for three months in a row on the back of five goals last month for the Robins, who he joined on loan in August - with Bradford exercising a recall clause this week.

Bantams defender Anthony O’Connor was among the nominees.