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Conor McMenamin is this morning named December’s Player of the Month by the NI Football Writers’ Association.

The 24-year-old, who recently put pen to paper on an extended contract with the Club, scored four goals during the period, striking crucial winners against Coleraine and Larne either side of a North Belfast Derby double when Cliftonville overcame Crusaders at Seaview on St Stephen’s Day.

“I managed to score four in a week during the month, which doesn’t happen too often,” said McMenamin, who received his award from NIFWA Chairman Stuart McKinley.

“It was a brilliant month for us because everyone knew how difficult the fixtures before Christmas were going to be.

“We’ve always thought it if we can be within touching distance of the leading Clubs at this time of year, we have a chance and we are top of the table.

“Paddy McLaughlin has instilled a real winning mentality in our side and I think that was there for all to see in the games against the likes of Coleraine, Crusaders and Larne.

“Boxing Day was unbelievable. We went a goal down after about two minutes but had the confidence and belief to come back and thankfully I scored both goals in the win.”