Collins confident as Sunderland seek third away win of the season at Bolton

Last updated at 08:44 03 May 2008

Danny Collins hopes to cap off a good week by helping Sunderland win at Bolton tonight.

Collins, who nearly left the club in the early part of the campaign, was this week named player of the season by Black Cats fans.

Sunderland's 3-2 win over Middlesbrough last Saturday confirmed their Barclays

Premier League status for next term.

But, according to Collins, that will not stop them from trying to clinch only

their third away win since last year's promotion when they travel to the Reebok


Collins insists there is still plenty to play for this season - including the

carrot of finishing above north-east neighbours Newcastle.

"As players, we won't be easing off - let alone what the gaffer thinks!"

insisted left-back Collins, who is the top appearance-maker at Sunderland this


"We know Bolton are going to be up for it. They're fighting to stay in the

Premier League so we know it's not going to be easy.

"We want to finish as high as we possibly can in the league. We've got six

points to play for and to finish 12th or 13th would be a great achievement for


"It gives us something to build on next year."

Collins was in the Sunderland side who were relegated with record low points

two seasons ago - making this season's achievement even more special for the

Wales international.

The 27-year-old made 23 appearances for the team who crashed out of the

division with 15 points in 2006.

Of the current squad, only Collins, Nyron Nosworthy, Dean Whitehead, Daryl

Murphy and Grant Leadbitter survive from that terrible season for the


"I've worked hard at my game to try to prove I can be a Premier League

defender," said Collins.

"I thought I might not be involved at the start of the season but things have

worked out for me.

"I've worked hard on the training pitch and I've been in the side pretty much

the whole of the season, so to cap it off with the player of the season award is

great. When it's voted for by the fans, it's special.

"But it's a team game, it's not an individual sport, and it could have gone to

three or four of the lads. For me to get it is really nice."

Roy Keane has endorsed the fans' decision to name Collins player of the season,

saying: "Danny epitomises the spirit here."

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