Cobblers boss Chris Wilder says Ricky Holmes ‘definitely deserves’ to win the Sky Bet League Two player of the month award for January.
Holmes was nominated for the gong this week on a shortlist with three others, with Wilder also being named in the final four for the league two manager of the month prize.
Wilder was the winner of the award in November and has to be the favourite again as he is the only manager of the four nominated to boast a 100 per cent win record, but he is more interested in Holmes being recognised for his ‘electric’ performances.
Holmes has been a revelation since returning to the team in early December, the player missing the first four months of the season due to a serious back injury, and in January he scored in wins over Barnet and at Dagenham.
His winning strike in the 2-1 win over the Daggers was a senstational 20-yard volley, and Wilder said: “I know Nicky Adams was nominated a few months ago, and I think everybody was disappointed he didn’t win that award, because he deserved it.
“And I think Ricky definitely deserves to win this award, he has been absolutely outstanding, he’s been electric.
“It has been like signing a new player because he was out for the first part of the season, and his re-introduction, the way he has gone about it, the way he has worked long hours away from the club to get himself back has been great.
“He has got his head down and his contribution he has made since getting back into the first team has been outstanding.”
Holmes is up against Mansfield Town midfielder Chris Clements, Morecambe striker Shaun Miller and Oxford United defender Jake Wright for the player award, while Wilder faces a challenge from Neal Ardley of AFC Wimbledon, Paul Tisdale of Exeter City and Darren Way of Yeovil Town.
The winners of the awards will be announced on Friday, but win or lose, Wilder was quick to point out that these nominations are indicative of the effort of everybody at Sixfields.
“Myself and Ricky will be the first to say it’s about the contribution of everybody, whether it’s the staff, whether it’s Ricky’s fellow players, they are the reason for the nominations,” he said.
“We have had a great run, we have won four games in the month, and we recognise if you do that then these things do come around.
“But the most important thing is Saturday and keeping that run going.
“We are are not daft enough to think it is job done in February, there is still a lot of football to be played, a lot of points to be gained, but we are in a good place on and off the pitch.”