Scott Carson has described winning the Sky Bet Championship’s Player of the Month award for December as a ‘great achievement’.
The 32-year-old custodian kept five clean sheets from six appearances during the final month of 2017.
Derby claimed 16 points out of a possible 18 during December to move into the division’s automatic promotion places to establish themselves in the promotion race at the halfway stage, resulting in Manager Gary Rowett claiming the Manager of the Month trophy.
Carson, the Rams’ reigning Player of the Year, believes claiming the monthly divisional award can be a tall order for a goalkeeper – with attacking players grabbing the headlines in winning sides.
Naturally delighted to receive the accolade on a personal basis, the shot-stopper was keen to highlight the contribution of his team-mates.
He told RamsTV: “I’m delighted to get the award and it’s a great achievement.
“It is a collective effort over the last couple of months. Everyone has dug in and we’ve been working well as a team.
“The Player of the Month award is quite a hard one for goalkeepers and defenders to get.
“Even when we’ve been getting the clean sheets like we have been, it’s harder to get the recognition sometimes as defensive players because when you’re winning the front players grab the headlines.”
Carson has made some crucial saves at key moments in games in recent months.
In the 3-0 victory at Middlesbrough last month he denied Britt Assombalonga before, moments later, Derby took the lead through Matej Vydra.
He also pulled off a fine stop in the 3-0 success at Barnsley at the start of December from Ike Ugbo, before Andreas Weimann bagged the Rams’ third goal of the afternoon soon afterwards.
On those key moments, Carson said: “I’ve made a few saves and we’ve gone down the other end and scored, which makes it better for everyone.
“I think because of that they have been more recognisable than they would be normally.”
Derby boast the second best defensive record in the Championship behind high-flying Wolverhampton Wanderers, while the league leaders are the only side to score more than Rowett’s men.
Carson believes the Rams also deserve praise for their attacking play, with the ruthless Rams finding the net with regularity.
He said: “We’re keeping clean sheets, as I said, but we are scoring goals at the other end and that means we’re winning games.
“As simple as it sounds, we’re scoring more than we’re conceding.
“I think the difference this season is we are keeping clean sheets and making the most of that fact.”