Rochdale midfielder Matty Lund has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for December.
Defensive midfielders stop the opposition scoring, something Lund did with notable tackles in the wins over leaders Scunthorpe and Northampton.
What he also managed in the latter game was to score a perfect hat-trick, the first of his career.
Lund said: “It`s a great honour to be named as Player of the Month. It`s always nice to win an award, but I think any one of the lads who played could have been picked because we`ve been excellent.
“We had an amazing December and the whole team was fantastic. We worked hard, we stuck together as a team and we were solid throughout the month.”
Sky Sports` EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It`s not often that a midfielder, especially one that tends to focus on the defensive side of the game, wins an individual award such as this, but Matty Lund`s superb hat-trick again Northampton stands out among the nominees.
The Northern Ireland international turned the game around in four minutes to continue Dale`s remarkable run of form and secure the award for December.”
Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Lund isn`t known as a prolific scorer but the stars aligned for him on the 17th December when he completed a hat-trick at odds of 250/1.
“However, he wins this award for the work he has been doing as a box to box midfielder in Rochdale`s attacking system.
“Playing a crucial role in the heart of the midfield Lund has been instrumental in Rochdale`s rise up the table, expanding on the traditional holding midfielder role to become a more complete player who contributes in all phases.
“`Dale are now just 10/3 to be playing Championship football next season and Lund looked every bit like he would belong at that level during December.”