Derby County goalkeeper Scott Carson has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for December.
Carson showcased his outstanding 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. One brilliant save against Millwall took the breath away.
Derby manager Gary Rowett said: “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.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Derby’s fantastic December was built on a solid defensive platform and Carson has to take great credit for that, marshalling the defence and pulling off a string of show-stopping saves.
“Scott has said that he’s playing the best football of his entire career and it’s clear to see that the stability and reassurance that he’s been given at Derby is paying dividends.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Scott Carson deserves recognition for his part in Derby’s tilt at automatic promotion and their incredible rise up the table under Gary Rowett.
“The Rams stopper is a calm influence between the sticks, five clean sheets on the bounce in December have testified and he allows his side to express themselves further up the pitch as demonstrated in the routine home wins over Aston Villa and Millwall.
“Carson has conceded the second fewest goals in the Championship this season, a statistic bettered only by leaders Wolves and it’s right we recognise his fine achievement’s in this month.”
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.