John McAtee is voted December's Player of the Month by Reds fans!
As voted by supporters in association with our long-term club partner NG Decor, the forward is named as last month's top performer following a series of eye-catching displays over the festive period.
He was already the winner of Goal of the Month, and now it's a double, to add to his November Player of the Month success. Give someone else a chance, John!
McAtee's opening contribution of the month came at Bloomfield Road after he latched on to a through ball and slotted home the opener against Blackpool, getting hurt in the process and picking up a knock that saw him miss our trip to Reading.
However, our number 45 returned to action in fine fettle as he produced an audacious lob against Stevenage to open the scoring at Oakwell and set us on our way to a 2-1 victory two days before Christmas.
A Boxing Day brace was probably McAtee's strongest display as we faced Port Vale on the road. A scintillating first-half performance by the Reds saw us take a 3-0 lead into the break and McAtee was in the thick of the action.
Excellent work by Devante Cole on the left wing allowed him to pick out an onrushing McAtee who swept home with his left foot to double the scoring. However, the best was saved until last, as the forward picked up the ball inside the Port Vale half after tenacious defending by Maël de Gevigney, and in a flash, 'Macca' had let fly from ridiculous range which caught everyone inside the stadium by surprise, the ball destined for one spot as soon as it left the boot. The trademark acrobatic celebration followed, befitting of the absurdity of the strike itself.
We finished the year with a trip to Peterborough United, where McAtee was heavily involved once again. We looked to steal back possession from Posh high up the pitch and the Salford-born attacker's energy was a big part of the game plan for the Reds.
He firstly dispossessed Posh 'keeper Nicholas Bilokapic inside the area to provide Herbie Kane with the ball and he made no mistake to get us off the mark. Later in the first half, a combined press of Corey O'Keeffe and December's award winner allowed the former to play in McAtee, who squared for Cole in the box and he recorded his 13th goal of the season.
On winning the award, McAtee spoke of the form the Reds find themselves in at present: "We're unbeaten in eight games. Of course, we'd like to turn the draws into wins and we're working hard to do exactly that, but to be eight unbeaten in this league and against some of the teams we've faced in such a short space of time, we can't help but be confident in getting the wins we'll need to be right up there at the top end.
"On a personal level, I'm just glad to have found some form in the last couple of months that's seen me contribute. I'd like to add some of the so-called 'easier' finishes, but if it has to be a worldie, I'll take it!"
Thank you to Neil Glover and the team at NG Decor for their continued backing of the Reds. Why not take a look at their brand new website and see what the team can do for you? Click here for further info!