Was it ever in doubt!

Gary Rowett and Scott Carson have claimed December’s Sky Bet Championship Manager and Player of the Month awards respectively!

The Rams claimed 16 points from a possible 18 and kept five clean sheets too as they surged into the division’s automatic promotion positions heading into the New Year.

It is the second time in just three months that Rowett, who earlier this week also signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with the Rams, has won the award.

The 43-year-old overcame Lee Johnson (Bristol City), Alex Neil (Preston North End) and Nuno Espírito Santo (Wolves) to claim the final award.

George Burley, who chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel, said: “Gary was a very popular choice of manager for Derby County and he is showing how shrewd the appointment was.

“Their unbeaten December was rounded off with an impressive win at Portman Road which took them into the second automatic promotion place.”

Carson, the Rams’ reigning Player of the Year, has been in outstanding form all season, but five clean sheets from just six games also saw him beat off competition from Pontus Jansson (Leeds United), Jamie Paterson (Bristol City) and Romaine Sawyers (Brentford) for the final award.

Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Scott Carson deserves recognition for his part in Derby’s tilt at automatic promotion and their incredible rise up the table under Gary Rowett.

“The Rams stopper is a calm influence between the sticks, five clean sheets on the bounce in December have testified and he allows his side to express themselves further up the pitch as demonstrated in the routine home wins over Aston Villa and Millwall.

“Carson has conceded the second fewest goals in the Championship this season, a statistic bettered only by leaders Wolves and it’s right we recognise his fine achievement’s in this month.”

Full reaction from both Gary Rowett and Scott Carson can be seen across dcfc.co.uk!