Midfielder nominated for Championship Player of the Month award...

United midfielder Luke Murphy has been nominated for January’s Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month award after an impressive run of form since returning to the team.

Murphy re-established himself in the side after starting in the FA Cup tie at Sunderland, and has played an integral part in United's recent upturn in fortunes as they went unbeaten in the Championship throughout January.

The 25-year-old netted twice in his four league appearances last month as well as assisting Sam Byram’s opening goal in the Yorkshire derby win at Huddersfield last weekend.

Murphy struck late to secure a point in the 1-1 draw with Birmingham on January 17 at Elland Road, before hitting a stunning winner three days later against league leaders Bournemouth.

The midfielder has been nominated alongside Watford striker Odion Ighalo, Wolves defender Richard Stearman and Middlesborough midfielder Lee Tomlin.

Here are the candidates in full, courtesy of Sky Bet:
Odion Ighalo (Watford) - striker
A fabulous January for the penalty box poacher who scored seven goals, one for every 37 minutes on the pitch. His predatory instincts were fully on show with his four-goal, second-half haul in the 7-2 win over Blackpool.

Luke Murphy (Leeds United) – midfielder
Murphy finally appears to be coming of age at Leeds. An elegant passer of the ball, he provided an assist at Huddersfield Town and scored twice himself – the equaliser against Birmingham City and a stunning left-foot strike to beat leaders AFC Bournemouth.

Richard Stearman (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – central defender
One of Wolves’ Premier League stalwarts, Stearman brought his experience to bear as they kept three clean sheets in four games. Courageous in the tackle and always up for a physical battle, he was outstanding in the draw at Blackburn Rovers.

Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) – midfielder
Tomlin is the creative force behind Boro’s march towards automatic promotion. Moves defences around with his vision. Tomlin’s goalscoring instincts were evident in two confident finishes against Huddersfield Town and another against Cardiff City.


The judging panel comprises Sky Sports’ Football League expert Don Goodman; Football League Head of Communications John Nagle; League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery.

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