Wilder and Holmes win Sky Bet League Two awards

Ricky Holmes (left) and Chris Wilder with their Sky Bet League Two awards

Ricky Holmes (left) and Chris Wilder with their Sky Bet League Two awards

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The Cobblers are celebrating after landing an awards double with Chris Wilder and Ricky Holmes winning the Sky Bet League Two manager and player of the month awards for January.

Wilder was named top boss after a month that saw the Cobblers win four games out of four to go top of the table, with their run including a 2-1 victory at then-leaders Plymouth Argyle.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH - Ricky Holmes

PLAYER OF THE MONTH - Ricky Holmes

The Town manager saw off the challenge of Exeter City’s Paul Tisdale, Yeovil Town’s Darren Way and Neal Ardley of AFC Wimbledon.

Holmes has been in brilliant form, scoring goals in the wins over Barnet and Dagenham & Redbridge, and he saw off rivals Chris Clements from Mansfield Town, Morecambe striker Shaun Miller and Oxford United defender Jake Wright.

It is the first player of the month award Holmes has won in his career, while Wilder has collected his second top boss gong of the season, having also won the award for November.

But the manager has revealed he won’t be taking the award home with him, it will be going in the trophy cabinet in club office alongside his previous prize.

MANAGER OF THE MONTH - Chris Wilder

MANAGER OF THE MONTH - Chris Wilder

“The award will be going to the club, and will stay with the club, they don’t come with me,” said Wilder. “I have always said that it is a group effort.

“As a staff we help the players to go and produce the best performances on the pitch, they win games of football, and then you get nominated for awards like this.

“We are going well now, the group is focused, and we are looking forward to the next game, but we have to recognise we are now at the business end of the season.

“We now have to play as well, if not better, than we have done up to now if we want to go and achieve what we set out to do.”

Holmes was delighted to pick up the award, especially as he didn’t even make his first start of the season until the 3-0 win over Barnet on January 2!

“I had a long time out injured, and to get an award when I didn’t make my first start until the Barnet game means it has been a good month,” said the Cobblers winger.

“We managed four wins, went to Plymouth and turned them over on their own patch to build a little gap, but the season is not over.

“We have 19 games to go, we are in a strong position, but we have to just keep going.”

And like his manager, Holmes was also quick to praise the players and staff around him for helping him to win the top player award.

“Tha lads have been brilliant, and it a team thing,” said Holmes.

“Me and the gaffer both picked up the awards, and that is a credit to everybody around the club, the physios and all the staff as well.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said of Holmes: “When coming back from injury, it’s always pleasing to make an impact in the team.

“Holmes has done that and more, and his creativity has been one of the major factors that has inspired his team-mates to a 100 per cent record in January and moved the team to the summit of league two.”

And of the manager award going to Wilder, former Scotland boss George Burley, chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel, said: “It has been another great month for Chris and his team at Northampton.

“It shows that no matter what happens off the pitch, the most important thing is what the team does on it.

“They had a fantastic month gaining four wins out of four with a very impressive away win at promotion contenders Plymouth Argyle.”