Mick McCarthy and Daryl Murphy scoop monthly awards – and Blues boss hopes the so-called curse has already happened

Pic by Griffiths Photographers SKYBET Championship Manager of the Month Mick McCarthy Ipswich Town

Pic by Griffiths Photographers SKYBET Championship Manager of the Month Mick McCarthy Ipswich Town and Daryl Murphy SKYBET Player of the Month Ipswich Town 10-12-2015 - Credit: Griffiths Photographers

Mick McCarthy hopes that he has already got the so-called ‘Manager of the Month curse’ out of the way after being named the recipient of the award this morning.

Ipswich Town, for the second year in a row, enjoyed an unbeaten month of November – beating Rotherham, Bolton and Charlton, as well as drawing with Wolves.

As a result, McCarthy beat fellow nominees Chris Hughton (Brighton), Aitor Karanka (Middlesbrough) and Paul Clement (Derby) to the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month trophy.

In addition, Blues striker Daryl Murphy – who scored six goals last month – was named Sky Bet Player of the Month for the division, ahead of fellow nominees Solly March (Brighton), Scott Carson (Derby) and Alex Mowatt (Leeds).

Much has been made over the years of teams losing the match which follows such awards, but McCarthy joked that last Friday’s 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough should negate that.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s match at MK Dons (12.30pm, Sky Sports), the Blues boss said: “It’s great that the jinx game is out the way! We’ve had a game in December already, the Middlesbrough one, so that curse won’t be there for us at the weekend now hopefully.”

He added: “It’s a reflection on everybody at the club, the Manager of the Month one. I accept that on behalf of everyone else – that’s not me being humble, that’s just the way it is. It’s been a good effort by everybody.

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“We needed a good month (after winning just once in 10 league matches) and we got it.

“That’s the beauty of this league. It’s relentless, there’s not much between us all on any given day and that means you can string two or three wins together at any moment.

“We had good performances as well as results to get back up the table.

“The individual award, for Murph, is a reflection on how well he’s played and the goals he’s scored.”

Murphy, who scored 27 goals in 2014/15 then took 13 games to get off the mark this season, said: “Once the first goal went in the rest followed. I knew that would be the case.

“Last season was a great season for me personally and now I am back to my old self, thank God. We needed a good month because we didn’t want the gap to the top six to get too big.”

McCarthy, whose team travel to Fulham next Tuesday night before hosting Derby and QPR either side of Christmas, added: “We had a great November and we’re going to need a few more great months if we are going to end up in the play-offs because I think the league is tougher. I think it’s more competitive in terms of quality. A few teams have spent a lot of money to improve.

“We’ll be as competitive as ever and trying to get in the play-offs again.

“People say it’s a watershed month for us, December. It probably is for most teams.

“You’re beginning to count down the games once it gets to January and everybody wants to be in a good position – whether it’s looking to the top six or avoiding relegation.”

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