Player of the Month: Sam Winnall (Barnsley)
It’s no surprise that Winnall’s hot streak of form has coincided with Barnsley’s resurgence this month. The former Scunthorpe striker netted an astonishing seven goals in five games to fire his side to within touching distance of a play-off place. He also scored two in the last game in December, taking his current streak to nine goals in his last six outings.
He began the month with a header in the win over Millwall before scoring two superb solo goals in the win at Shrewsbury. Even better was to follow when the Wolverhampton-born forward netted a perfect hat-trick in the demolition of Rochdale.
After Barnsley turned down a derisory offer from Leeds United, Winnall completed his fantastic month with a crucial 88th minute winner at Swindon.
The Reds then crucially managed to fend off interest in their top scorer on transfer deadline day.
Manager of the Month: Lee Johnson (Barnsley)
Johnson guided the Reds to five league wins out of five in January to swap a battle for the drop for a possible play-off push. Barnsley began the month in 19th place and were just one point clear of the relegation zone. Fifteen points later and the gap is now 11, with the distance to the play-off places having been cut from 13 points to just five.
The former Oldham boss began the month with a 2-1 win over Millwall before leading his side to their second away win in a row, a 3-0 triumph at Shrewsbury. The eye-catching result of the month was the 6-1 hammering of ex-Reds boss Keith Hill’s Rochdale side at Oakwell. Barnsley ended the month with two one-nil wins on the road, which meant that having kept no clean sheets away all season, Johnson’s side now have three on the spin.
Goal of the Month: Max Power (Wigan Athletic)