James Milner has been voted the Etihad Player of the Month for January.
The England midfielder comfortably saw off the challenge of Gael Clichy and Fernandinho to secure his first award of the season – and he paid tribute to the City fans that helped him secure the prize.
“Anytime you win an award that has been voted for by the fans or your fellow professionals is special – it means a lot because the fans turn up every week, pay their money and they are the life and soul of the football club,” said Milner.
“Players, managers and chairmen come and go, but the fans are always there and they are the heartbeat of the club so for them to vote me Player of the Month is great and it means that I’m contributing to the side and that’s all I want to do.”
One of the most popular players in the squad, Milner ended last month with a superb display against Chelsea and he started February with a last-gasp equaliser against Hull last weekend.
If he continues in the current vein, he could be in contention for this month’s award, too.
“The fans are brilliant with me and at every club I’ve been at the support has tended to get stronger the longer I’ve been there,” he said.
“I know that when I first arrive I was a Yorkshire lad who wasn’t maybe as glamorous a name as players like David Silva, Sergio Aguero and those sort of guys and I completely understand that, but hopefully the supporters see that even if I have a bad game and the passes aren’t coming off or whatever, that I’ll still give everything for the team and I’m sure that’s all the fans want to see.
They’d give anything to be able to pull on a City shirt for just one game and whether they were good enough or not, they’d still run around and give everything they could - and they just want us to do the same when they’re watching
“Their support is massively appreciated. Wherever we play they are behind us and they maybe don’t realise how much they can lift us, particularly at home when things aren’t going well and it’s down to us to get them going as well and give them something to sing about.”