Watford’s Quique Sanchez Flores and Odion Ighalo have been named Premier League manager and player of the month for December.
The Hornets won their first three games in the month to climb the table and only lost their unbeaten record just after Christmas when they were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham, a result that came after a memorable 3-0 win over Liverpool and a fine 2-2 draw at Chelsea.
All smiles for Watford boss Flores and striker Ighalo
Watford have since dropped to 10th on the back of three successive defeats, but Sanchez Flores is honoured to be the first manager to claim the prize in the club’s history.
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“It’s a big honour for me and I am really pleased,” the Spaniard said. “This is for all the staff who are working with me and for the players of course. Without them it is impossible to get this award.
“This is also for the fans. They have supported the team a lot. This is all a new experience for me, I am new in the Premier League, but this month has been very special.”
Ighalo scored five goals in the month, including two in the Vicarage Road win over Liverpool, to take his tally for the season to 13, tied for third in the Premier League behind Romelu Lukaku and Jamie Vardy.
Ighalo celebrates his first goal against Liverpool
The goals led to increased speculation of a January move away from the club, but Ighalo insists he is going nowhere.
“It was a great month for me, but not me alone, for the team as well,” he added. “We really worked hard and got as many points as we could get. It’s very good for us and we want to keep going.
“When the gaffer took over he really told us what he wanted, and I worked hard in pre-season. I knew the step up from the Championship to the Premier League would be difficult because I was going to meet more experienced defenders and big teams, so I have put a lot of work in, and that has been paying off.