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Stoke defender Collins: Sunderland sale shocked me

Stoke City defender Danny Collins admits he was shocked to be sold by Sunderland in the summer.

Collins had just won back-to-back fans' Player of the Year awards at Sunderland.

Ahead of tonight's clash, he said: "It caught me completely by surprise.

"I had just come off the back of a good season. I played the first three games, was captain, and we won two of them. I thought things were going well. It came out of the blue with only two days left in the transfer window.

"He said he wasn't sure if he could give me the chance to play. I was enjoying my football and my time up there. I was looking forward to the season and didn't see it coming.

"It didn't hurt but it was disappointing in the way he went about it, just dropping it on me

"So I came down, met Tony Pulis, got positive vibes from him and that was that. It was done within two days. You put it behind you and move. We want to finish in the top 10 and we are going back to Sunderland on the back of a really good cup win against Arsenal.

"Going back will be emotional. Sunderland will always have a special place in my heart."

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