Manager Brian Barry-Murphy on Matty Lund and Kwadwo Baah winning the January Sky Bet League One Player of the Month & EFL Young Player of the Month awards, respectively…
“It’s amazing. It’s testament to their own work and that of the overall group, and how they’ve all supported each other throughout the season,” said BBM.
“Matthew tells me that he is [in the form of his career] and his goal scoring form is there for all to see. His play, mentorship, guidance and responsibility towards the whole squad won’t be seen, but he has become a real senior figure in the dressing room.
“He holds the respect of all the players because of how good he is and how he has taken the time to go out of his way to help those players. For me, it’s pretty significant because it’s what we want our Club to be about. He’s picking up the mantle and carrying on that responsibility.
“He understands what the rest of the team are doing for him and he wants to be in the middle of that. There were a lot of question marks over where we’d get out attacking goals and chances from this season and it has been a real conscious group effort for the lads to really improve that area of our game and it has bore fruit for Matthew who looks like he can break all of his own records, which I think he has done already, but there’s no ceiling. We want more from him and we want even more attacking moments to produce more goals.
“There’s a lot of focus on our defensive play and quite rightly so because of the way we have been in games. We’re very conscious of the fact that we don’t just focus on one element and then all of a sudden we start to forget about our attacking play - we want to improve all aspects of our game. That has always been our process and we’ll stick to that. Matthew is important and his role in that has been significant, which is now being rightly lauded.”
On Kwadwo Baah, he continued: “To see the calibre of player who has previously won this award struck a real chord with me - Tammy Abraham and Joe Aribo, to name but two. No-one at our Club has won that award in our history, so I was bursting with pride when I heard the news. And I know how much it means to Kwadwo because of what he’s put into it.
“As an overview of our club, it’s everything that we want it to be and what we are, to see the senior members of the squad looking out for our younger members of the team.
“Kwadwo’s story is pretty significant in terms of coming through adversity and now he's really starting to really fulfil his potential.
“Again, he’s really starting to take on a leadership role within the younger squad members. He’s not like anything we’ve had at the Club before and he’s developing into one of the most exciting players to watch.
“He came through tough spells last season. A lot of his early game action was down to the fact that we were struggling for bodies and in difficult runs of form, so in those difficult moments that were evident in last season and this season, great things can come, and he is probably the greatest symbol of that. No-one probably thinks back to when he burst onto the scene last year, when he was inexperienced and found things difficult, but now as a Club we’re bearing the rewards of that and so is he.
“There really is no ceiling about where he can go, and he’s fully focused and has a real hunger to get the best out of himself. I feel very privileged to be a part of that.”