Lee Martin nominated for Championship ‘Player of the Month’ award

IPSWICH Town midfielder Lee Martin is one of three nominees for February’s ‘Championship Player of the Month’ award.

Blues boss Paul Jewell hailed the 25-year-old as ‘the focal point’ of his team following an impressive brace in the 3-0 home win over high-flying Cardiff last month.

Since being switched from the wing to an advanced central role, the former Manchester United youngster has hit the best form of a previously inconsistent career disrupted by a series of loan moves.

Having netted a penalty in the 5-1 home win over West Ham at the back end of January, the direct-running midfielder started February by winning a spot-kick at Coventry.

And although his effort from the spot was saved, Michael Chopra was on hand to convert the rebound as Town went on to seal a 3-2 win.

Martin struck the post in the 1-0 win at Portsmouth, with Town finishing the month with a 3-0 loss at Brighton.

The in-form Blues man faces stiff competition for the award – the winner of which will be announced tomorrow – in the shape of Reading keeper Adam Federici and Southampton striker Rickie Lambert.

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Federici kept four cleans sheet from four in February, helping the Championship’s form team to wins over Coventry, Derby, Burnley and Middlesbrough.

Leading Championship goalscorer Lambert played an integral part in the Saints moving top-of-the-table last month, finishing the month with a hat-trick against Watford.

Meanwhile, Town boss Paul Jewell is not included among the three nominees for ‘Championship Manger of the Month’, despite masterminding three wins out of four in February.

Brian McDermott (Reading) is the front-runner after bringing his side firmly into the automatic promotion race, with Nigel Adkins (Southampton) and Gus Poyet (Brighton & Hove Albion) also in contention.