Date: 6th January 2017 at 8:29am
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Barnsley forward Sam Winnall has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for December.

Winnall scored every type of goal in December, running on to through balls, turning the ball home from close range and cleverly looping headers when needed, as he did against Cardiff. It all added up to six goals in six appearances in the month.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom said: “We`re delighted that Sam has won the award, it`s great recognition for the hard work that he`s put in and his impressive form – not just in December, but throughout the season as well.

“He`s been clinical with his finishing and has played a key role in what has been a strong month for us as a club.

“The team as a whole have helped Sam to score those goals and I know he is very thankful towards his teammates for that. Well done to Sam, it`s a thoroughly deserved award and we hope that his prolific form continues throughout the rest of the Season!”

Winnall said: “It`s a great honour and it`s always pleasing to have a personal accolade like this. But it can`t be done without the staff and the other players – so it`s testament to how far we`ve come and how well we`re doing as a team this season.

“The fact that our players are getting these awards in recognition for performances, shows that we`re doing the right things here at Barnsley and everyone is riding the wave of success.

“It`s not just my goals; everything contributes to this award. All the players, all the coaching staff, all the physios and sports science staff – everyone is doing such a good job this season and it`s good to get that recognition and know that you`re playing your part in something that`s special and something that we`re very proud of.”

Sky Sports` EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Over the last few seasons Winnall has developed into the complete centre forward, able to link midfield with attack, hold up play and, most importantly, score goals.

“His ability to find a yard of space in the area is top class and in December his goals eliminated any relegation worries and made Barnsley a dark horse for a Play-Off push.”

Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “After a fantastic goalscoring campaign in League One last year, Sam Winnall has proved that he belongs at this higher level after a glut of goals over the festive period.

“Winnall now sits on 11 goals for the season and is rated a 33/1 shot to finish the campaign as the top scorer in the division.

“His Barnsley side are sitting in eighth place in the table currently, and with odds of 50/1 to be promoted.”