Last Updated: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 08:01
Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has been named npower Championship Player of the Year.
The 30-year-old has been in imperious form for Saints this season, with his 21 league goals propelling the promoted club to top of the division.
Lambert beat team-mate Adam Lallana and Cardiff midfielder Peter Whittingham to the award in what has been an incredible first season in the second tier of English football.
"When Saints got to the Championship I was at a point in my career where I was mentally strong," he told Press Association Sport. "I came into the Championship at the right time and I was confident I could do it.
"I am happy at Southampton. My family are happy and I am in a great team as well. This award has surprised me a little bit as I thought my team-mate Ads was going to get it.
"I am surprised but delighted. I did not think I was going to be so nervous walking to collect the award, but it was so long and my mouth dried up."
Have you an opinion on this story? Put your money where your mouth is and claim a free £25 bet.