Walsall striker Andy Cook nominated for Player of the Month
Walsall hot-shot Andy Cook has been nominated for the League One Player of the Month award for January.
The Saddlers striker enjoyed a fantastic start to the new year by netting seven goals in six matches. That run included an impressive hat-trick as Walsall beat Gillingham 3-0 on January 19.
Cook has been shortlisted for the award, which is sponsored by Sky Bet, alongside Barnsley’s attacking midfielder Jacob Brown, Luton striker James Collins and Plymouth forward Ruben Lameiras.
A statement released by Sky Bet and the EFL outlined why all four players have been nominated.
For Cook it said: “Refused to succumb to the goal-shy malaise afflicting Walsall’s other forwards by scoring five of his side’s six goals in four games. Cook converted two headers in his hat-trick at Gillingham, but foraged for himself at Charlton and Plymouth.”
Brown has been nominated after scoring for Barnsley against Bradford and also contributing five assists last month. Collins got the nod for scoring six goals in five games, while Lameiras’ five goals in five matches lifted Plymouth out the bottom four.
The winner of the Player of the Month award will be announced on Friday.
Plymouth’s Derek Adams, Charlton’s Lee Bowyer, Luton’s Mick Harford and Stuart McCall at Scunthorpe are the League One Manager of the Month nominees for January.
Meanwhile, midfielder Joe Edwards says Walsall’s players now have to up the ante in training after the club made eight signings during the January transfer window.
The new recruits mean manager Dean Keates has two players to pick from for every position.
And Edwards says that competition for places means nobody can let their standards slip of they want to stay in the team.
“There is real competition for places,” the 28-year-old said.
“I think there is two players for every position now.
“And if that doesn’t inspire you or give you the edge to do more in training and do more in games - you won’t be in the team, simple as that.
“Some people may feel hard done to not being in the squad – and rightly so.
“But it’s a squad game, players who aren’t in the squad one week might start the next.
“It’s how you train. Now there is competition for places that should give you an added incentive to get in the team.”