Stoke City defender Danny Collins winning the North East Football Writers' Player of the Year award is no slap in the face of his former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce.
While initially surprised and hurt at being told he could leave Sunderland in August, after five years on Wearside, Collins says he is not one to be bitter.
He said to the Sunderland Echo: "I have nothing to prove to Steve Bruce. I know what I can do and I am sure the fans at Sunderland were pretty pleased with how I did.
"Steve Bruce's opinion of me is entirely up to him, but I have no grudges against him and I wish the club only the best."