"I think it is deserved in what has been a turbulent season with three managers, 35 players used and all the issues we have had," says Alan.
"He has been a consistent factor and on one hand I could count the games where he hasn't been at his best.
"It is thoroughly deserved and I think he is going to get better."
As for runner-up Michael Carrick, he adds:
"Michael has stayed fit for the best part of the second half of the season which is very important because his drive and his passing has been a massive bonus for us in this division.
"He is a key player coming in to these last few games."