brighton logo Player of the Month - February 2015

February was a month that was slow to get going but when it eventually did, the Albion put in one of their best home performances in a couple of years as relegation fears were eased slightly with a six point gap opening up to the drop zone.

Nottingham Forest proved to be too good at The Amex before hard earned clean sheets helped take points in two absolute bore fests at Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday.

Birmingham City were beaten in a 4-3 thriller before The Leeds United were vanquished 2-0 in a game that could quite easily have been six or seven - and the less said about Bolton Wanderers the better.

What has bought on the turnaround? The signing of Beram Kayal has certainly improved the defensive midfield while Chris Hughton's arrival has led to a marked improvement in the form of Inigo Calderon, Joao Teixeira, Rohan Ince and Sam Baldock - all of which makes this a particularly hard month to pick.

February 2015 Player of the Month - Inigo Calderon (46.81% of the vote)
One of the more intriguing decisions made by Chris Hughton since taking over has been to push Inigo Calderon into a much more attacking role. Most people thought it was purely a one-off against Ipswich to deal with the threat of Tyrone Mills, but the bearded wonder has remained in his advanced position ever since and that move worked wonders throughout February. Not only did the popular right back play his part in three clean sheets against Cardiff, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds but he also popped up with three vital goals - two against Birmingham and one against Leeds. Magic!
Played 6 (6 starts). Scored 3.
Second: David Stockdale (27.66% of the vote)
Criticised by some fans for his performance in February's opening defeat against Nottingham Forest, he bounced back with three clean sheets in the next four games and a match winning penalty save right on the stroke of half time against Birmingham.
Third: Joao Teixeira (12.77% of the vote)
As spring approaches so does the sort of form that vindicates why Joao Teixeira is so highly rated by parent club Liverpool. He bewitched both Birmingham and Leeds defences on their visits to The Amex, including netting a brace against the former.

The contenders:
Sam Baldock - Continued his attempts to justify the summer outlay with another good month out on the left side of attack, including netting in the victory over Leeds United. Would be interesting to see him go through the middle now there is some form and confidence.
Joe Bennett - Looks like being one of the few successes of the 200 players loaned in this season, playing a big part in the defensive solidarity that led to three clean sheets being recorded in February.
Inigo Calderon - What can we say about the man that hasn't already been said? He is absolutely revelling in a more advanced role on the right, netting a brace against Birmingham and scoring with his beard against Leeds.
Rohan Ince - Has become one of the first names on the team sheet in the last month. His presence alongside Beram Kayal cannot be underestimated in why the Albion suddenly look far better defensively than they have all season.
Beram Kayal - Scored within five minutes of making his debut against Nottingham Forest since when it has been evident that he is a class above what we have in midfield. Four game unbeaten run occurring when he was given his first run in the side is no coincidence.
David Stockdale - Continues to divide the fans with many calling for him to be dropped after the Forest game, but he responded with three clean sheets our of four and a match winning penalty save right on the stroke of half time against Birmingham.
Joao Teixeira - The little Portuguese man has solidified his position as the Albion's most creative player and one of the biggest goal threats, tearing Leeds apart after scoring twice and giving Birmingham's defenders recurring nightmares four days previously.