Cobblers goal star O’Toole named Sky Bet League One player of the month for January

John-Joe O'Toole is pictured with his Sky Bet League One player of the month award for January (Picture: Robbie Stephenson/JMP)
John-Joe O'Toole is pictured with his Sky Bet League One player of the month award for January (Picture: Robbie Stephenson/JMP)

Cobblers goal star John-Joe O’Toole has been named the Sky Bet League One player of the month for January.

The 29-year-old netted four goals in four starts in the opening month of 2018, with his strikes helping the Cobblers to crucial wins over Southend United, Bradford City and Milton Keynes Dons, as well as a draw at Blackburn Rovers.

It is a strong start to the year for a player who was dogged with injury issues in the first half of the season.

To win the award, O’Toole saw off the challenge of Rotherham United defender Semi Ajayi, Gillingham striker Tom Eaves and Blackburn front man Danny Graham.

Ajayi was part of a Millers defence that conceded just two goals in the month, Eaves scored four goals as the Gills won their four league games, and Graham also matched O’Toole’s four-goal tally but from five starts - including the equaliser in the 1-1 draw with the Cobblers.

Town boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes O’Toole deserves his award, and is now hoping the players stays injury free to maintain his form.

“I am happy for John-Joe, he has been brilliant,” said he Cobblers boss.

“We have had to nurture him through here and there, with him not training and then training, playing with pain, and unfortunately I needed to change him last Saturday because he had a dead leg.

“He was quite frustrated after the match, saying ‘what now?’.

“He was saying his hip had been magnificent and he was feeling the best he has felt, and then he gets a dead leg.

“But these things happen, we need to keep on going on, and he deserves the award, well done to him.”

The judging panel comprised of Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman, League Managers’ Association director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford.