Danny Collins is grateful to Sunderland boss Roy Keane for sticking by him this season.
The Welsh defender was offered as a makeweight in the deal which saw Danny Higginbotham sign from Stoke City. But since rejecting a switch to the Potteries, the 27-year-old has been welcomed back into the side - starting the last three matches at left-back.
"I was a bit disappointed with what went on but if the gaffer wants to bring players in, that's fair enough," he told The Journal. "I just got my head down in training. Thankfully in the last few weeks I've got my chance again and I think I've played well.
"I've never wanted to leave. It's my fourth season now, I enjoy it up here and I'm settled. I want to be part of the team. I played 40 games last season and to get the chance to be part of the Premier League again after the disappointment of two years ago (when he was part of the relegated Sunderland team), you want the chance to improve and prove to yourself you can do it at this level.
"Things have gone pretty well for me since all the speculation about my future. I've felt comfortable. When you get your chance that's what you need - to feel part of the team."