Middlesbrough defender Matthew Bates has been named npower Championship Player of the Month for September.

Bates led Boro to clean sheets in all four of their league outings, helping them to second in the Championship after two wins and two draws.

Boro boss Tony Mowbray said: "Matthew has played an integral role as captain and central defender in a team that has kept four clean sheets during September.

"Such an achievement is always a collective effort, of course, but Matthew has led by example and richly deserves this honour."

Sky Sports' Football League expert Peter Beagrie sits on the npower Player of the Month judging panel.

He said: "Matthew has had an outstanding start to the season, marshalling the Middlesbrough defence.

"It's fantastic to see him playing so well after overcoming several career-threatening injuries. His performances have epitomised his drive and desire."

npower Head of Sponsorship Emma Collins said: "Matthew has been a rock at the heart of Middlesbrough's defence this season.

"To go a whole month without conceding a goal is a very impressive feat and he deserves great credit for his performances in the heart of defence."

"I'd like to congratulate Matthew on behalf of npower, and wish him the best of luck for the rest of the season."

The judging panel comprises Sky Sports Football League expert Peter Beagrie, Football League Head of Communications John Nagle, BBC Sport's Mark Clemmit and npower Head of Sponsorship Emma Collins.