Wigan Athletic defender Dan Burn has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for December.
Burn was the mainstay of a Wigan defence which went through the whole of December without conceding a goal. Dominant in the air and willing to pick a pass, he also found time to score with a trademark header in the 2-0 win over Fleetwood.
Wigan manager Paul Cook said: “This is an award for the team as much as Dan, for their efforts throughout what is a difficult month.
“We have defended excellently as a team but, when required, Dan and his fellow centre back Chey Dunkley have been very reliable and long may that continue.”
Burn said: “When I very first came here I struggled the first couple of months, but I’ve played well since then. I do feel like I’ve been putting in good performances this season so it’s nice to be recognised for that, even if it is a bit of a surprise.
“As a defender, a clean sheet is as good as a goal and it’s what you pride yourself on and as a team we’ve done very well. I don’t think there were many shots conceded during December, and to keep six in a row is a good achievement, so we’ll try to keep that run going for as long as possible.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “To go through the whole of a month, especially one with six fixtures coming thick and fast, and not concede a single goal, is an extraordinary feat.
“Burn can’t take all the credit for that but his performance level has been consistently exemplary and a headed goal against Fleetwood was the icing on the cake.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Only once before during a loan spell at Yeovil has Dan Burn played at this level and his performances at both ends of the pitch suggests he belongs at a much higher level.
“At the heart of Wigan’s defence, Burn, alongside fellow defensive lynchpin Chey Dunkley, managed to keep six consecutive clean sheets and add his name to the scoresheet in the victory over Fleetwood at the start of the month.
“However, perhaps most impressive was during his side’s 7-0 thrashing of Oxford when Burn and the Latics backline could have been forgiven for a few defensive lapses creeping into their play such was their superiority going forward.”
The judging panel for the Sky Bet Player of the Month comprises Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford.