By Ebenezer Bajela.
Super Eagles hopeful, Chuba Akpom, has expressed his delights after being named Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season at the EFL Awards.
The 27-year-old was rewarded for a terrific season that has seen him score 29 goals in 38 games – 28 coming from 33 league starts – and barring a late flurry of goals elsewhere he will become the first Boro player to scoop the Golden Boot since John Hickton bagged 25 during the 1970/71 Second Division season.
He has already claimed the gong as the first Boro man to hit 20 league goals since Bernie Slaven in 1989/90 and the forward’s ice-cool nature saw him set a new Sky Bet Championship high for successive home strikes when he scored his ninth against Hull City at the Riverside.
In a quote on the club’s website, the player expressed his delights while also paying tributes to his teammates and coach.
He said, “It means a lot to get acknowledged for the work during the season and I’m really grateful for it.
“There’s a lot of quality players in this league so for me to even be on the shortlist was an amazing accomplishment.
“To win it is like ‘wow.’ It’s a massive achievement and it’s amazing.
“I always try to tell people it’s not just me,” he said. “It’s about the team. I couldn’t do it. I feel like the manager has got the perfect players for the way we want to play.
“The changing room is amazing, there’s a good relationship s between everyone and I’m grateful to everyone for their support and I wouldn’t have been nominated without them.”
He added, “He’s a manager that when players make mistakes he encourages you no matter what,” explained Chuba.
“We’re not scared of making mistakes or taking risks and it’s good to have that encouragement and backing from the manager. If you get the ball and do a mis-placed pass try it again, if you have a shot and don’t score, try it again.
“Take risks…and he encourages that. I’ve felt a lot of confidence going into games thanks to the manager.”