Wigan Athletic defender Chey Dunkley has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for March.
Commanding in both boxes and with a natural ability to snuff out danger or sniff out a goal, he enjoyed himself at both ends of the pitch in March, contributing three goals and four successive clean sheets to Wigan’s promotion charge.
Wigan manager Paul Cook said: “Chey has been brilliant all season for us and has formed a great direct partnership with Dan Burn in the centre of defence.
“It’s a massive squad effort, though, and Chey would be the first to acknowledge the contributions of his teammates towards this award.”
Dunkley said: “Throughout the season, we’ve always tried to have a strong foundation, which gives us the best chance of winning games.
“We go into the game looking to keep clean sheets and hopefully we’ve got the quality up there to score a goal to take us over the line.
“I like to say I’m aggressive in the air and like to get my head on things. I wouldn’t say I was always working on the offensive side of the game but I do fancy myself to get goals here and there and chip in from defence.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Wigan’s stellar month was built on defensive stability, with four clean sheets and Dunkley and Dan Burn provide a solid base from which the rest of the team can perform.
“When you start to add goals to that, especially three in a single month, he becomes an invaluable asset and he’ll be one of the first names on the teamsheet.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Since joining from Oxford in the summer, Chey Dunkley has been a real figurehead of this Wigan side alongside fellow centre-back Dan Burn.
“The pair helped to keep four consecutive clean sheets in the month but it was Dunkley’s contribution at the other end which really swayed the vote with his three goals in March doubling his seasonal tally.
“Wigan are proud owners of the meanest defence in the division and it’s no surprise to learn that Dunkley has been a mainstay in that backline only not completing 90 minutes on four occasions this season.”