Carlisle United captain Danny Grainger is today named League Two player of the month for December.

The Blues’ skipper has been rewarded for an impressive spell in the side since his return from injury.

Grainger played an influential role in United’s four straight league wins in December, which they have since followed with two more this month.

The 32-year-old Cumbrian, though, was keen to share the honour with his team-mates.

He said: “I’m obviously delighted to get the award, but it’s down to the way the team have been playing lately which has given us all a bit of recognition.

“There could have been four or five of us up for this award because the whole team has been playing well.

“It’s brilliant to have won this because I was up against some fantastic players are playing really well in their own right and for their clubs.

“Hopefully we’ll keep seeing Carlisle United names linked with these awards because that will mean we’re doing things properly and competing at the right end of the table.”

Grainger, who also won November’s League Two goal of the month award for his superb winner against Newport, added: “To win these in successive months is nice, but I’d trade them all in to make sure we’re at the top end of the league come the end of the season.”

Grainger, who scored against Colchester, Crawley and Oldham last month, got the Sky Bet EFL judges’ vote ahead of Lincoln’s John Akinde, Oldham’s Chris O’Grady and Forest Green’s George Williams.

Joint Carlisle caretaker manager Paul Murray also saluted the Cumbrian skipper and his in-form team-mates.

“It’s brilliant - he [Grainger] has been a key part of our form,” Murray said.

“It’s good for the club as well. It’s not just Danny who’s played very well – [Jamie] Devitt’s been excellent, Hallam Hope, Jerry [Yates]…we’ve had numerous players on excellent form.

“I’m sure Danny will credit that to his team-mates as well as himself.

“It’s brilliant for the club, a good accolade.

“He’s a bit of a talisman, he’s a Cumbrian, he’s local, he loves the club - which is there for all to see - and he’s been performing well.”

Grainger is the first United man to win a SkyBet/EFL player of the month award since Jason Kennedy in October 2016.

Grimsby’s Michael Jolley was named League Two manager of the month for December.

The judging panel for the Sky Bet player of the month awards comprises Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman, EFL communications director Mark Rowan, League Managers’ Association director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.

Goodman said: “Following on from his Sky Bet League Two Goal of the Month award for November, Danny Grainger ends a difficult week for the club with the League Two player of the month award to add to his mantlepiece.

“Grainger is an old-school club captain who leads by example on and off the pitch and steered the club to a victory over Mansfield on Saturday to extend their winning run to a record six games, despite still being without a manager.”

Ivor Davies added: “Carlisle were the big movers in Sky Bet League Two during the festive period and local hero Danny Grainger was the stand out performer with two clean sheets, three goals and an assist as Carlisle firmly secured themselves into play-off contention.

“The 32-year-old left full-back scored with typical power from free-kicks against Colchester and Oldham and a penalty against Colchester. The Cumbrians are now 7/2 for promotion from 25/1 at the start of the month.”

Yates, currently back with parent club Rotherham, is shortlisted for the PFA League Two player of the month prize with the winner revealed later today.