brighton logo Player of the Month - February 2016

Just one defeat in February put the Albion right back into the mix in terms of automatic promotion as 13 out of a possible 18 points were collected from a tough looking run of fixtures.

There were home wins over Brentford and Bolton Wanderers to kick the month off and an impressive 0-0 draw away at Hull City which was followed by the one blemish on the record, a 4-1 hammering away at Cardiff in what was arguably the worst performance of the season so far.

But Chris Hughton's men responded to that in the best possible way, winning 4-0 against both Bristol City and The Leeds United. That means that the normal shortlist has morphed into a bloody long list and it could be any one of a huge 11 players to take the prize.

February 2016 Player of the Month - Tomer Hemed (57.05% of the vote)
After a solid start to his Brighton career, Tomer Hemed's season ground to a halt. Before February came around, he had managed just one goal since September but the second month of 2016 bought a flying return to form as he notched five goals in as many starts. There were strikes against Brentford and Bolton Wanderers to enjoy before he was rested for the trip to Cardiff in what turned out to be the worst performance of the season. Recalled for the trip to Bristol City, he scored one and set up another two and rounded off the month with a brace against The Leeds United.
Played 6 (5 starts). Scored 5.
Second: Jamie Murphy (12.75% of the vote)
In his best month yet for the Albion since arriving from Sheffield United at the start of the season, the winger scored in the visit of Brentford and the away game at Bristol City. Another whose absence was clearly felt when rested at Cardiff City.
Third: Beram Kayal (8.72% of the vote)
The midfielder rounds off the prizes which means that all of the top three were rested for that trip to Cardiff which probably shows why we were so abject. It was another excellent month for the Israeli who must be a shoe in for the Player of the Season award come the end of the campaign.

The contenders:
Sam Baldock - Back from injury and firing on all cylinders, he marked his return to the starting line up with a goal against Bristol City and it is no surprise that Tomer Hemed has started banging them in again that his strike partner is fit.
Bruno - The season's most consistent player had another good month in February, helping the defence to three clean sheets and skippering the team in every game in the continued absence of Gordon Greer.
Lewis Dunk - Has had more than his fair share of critics so far this season but February bought his best set of performances so far which included popping up with a goal in the win against The Leeds United.
Connor Goldson - January saw him playing due to a lack of other options, February has seen him hold off the challenge of Gordon Greer to keep his place in the starting XI. Looks to be a real bargain signing.
Tomer Hemed - Five goals scored and a countless number of assists from the striker and top scorer. Has looked a different player this month, particularly when partnered back up with Sam Baldock.
Beram Kayal - If there were any ever doubts about how important he is to the team, then Hughton's decision to rest him away at Cardiff will have banished them given how woeful the midfield looked without the clubs best player in there.
Anthony Knockaert - Didn't quite hit the heights of his debut month of January but there was still a goal to enjoy in the win over Brentford and more attacking intent. A big reason why all of a sudden we aren't just winning games by one goal.
Jamie Murphy - The arrival of Jiri Skalak seems to have galvanised the winger to the point where he has become virtually undroppable this month with vital goals coming at Bristol City and at home to Bolton Wanderers and Brentford.
Liam Rosenior - Since the left back returned from injury at the expense of Inigo Calderon, the Albion haven't conceded a goal and in truth have rarely looked like doing so. He may have only made two starts, but richly deserves to make the shortlist.
Dale Stephens - Another player who has looked rejuvinated as we slowly tick into Spring, he scored the consolation goal at Cardiff meaning he was one of the only players to emerge from that game with any sort of credit.
David Stockdale - Three clean sheets is a good return for the goalkeeper and he made some vital saves in particular in the games away at Hull City and Bristol City as well as at home to Bolton Wanderers.