Collins determined not to ‘rub it in’ at his old stomping ground

James Collins celebrates making it 3-0 at Shrewsbury
James Collins celebrates making it 3-0 at Shrewsbury

Hatters striker James Collins was careful not to ‘rub it in’ too much after scoring twice against his former side Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

The 28-year-old had two excellent spells with the Shrews earlier in his career, scoring 48 times in 154 appearances.

I didn’t want to rub it in too much as I just don’t think it’s right.

James Collins

He was the club’s record goalscorer at the now-called Montgomery Waters Meadow, and even had a mural of himself in the stadium.

Collins, who received a fine reception ahead of the kick-off, added another two strikes to that tally, although this time it came in the white shirt of the Hatters.

He made a point of not celebrating the first, with a muted reaction to his second too, as he said: “This club has been great to me and they gave me a great reception before the game.

“I didn’t want to rub it in too much as I just don’t think it’s right.

“The second goal I tried doing the same, but it’s hard when you score goals, you want to celebrates because it’s your job.

“But great credit to Shrewsbury Town they gave me a great reception.

“This ground and this stadium and this club have been good to me over the years.

“I’ve had a lot of success, two promotions and a few goals, so I’m delighted to come back.

“But I’ve come here as a Luton Town player and I think we did our job.

“On a personal note, to score a couple of goals at my former club, it couldn’t have been any better.

“The main thing was to get the three points as we wanted to back up the great result in the week and it’s a difficult place to come.

“They’ve signed a lot of players in the week, the pitch isn’t great, so I think the lads showed great character to get three points.”

Collins’ first came after half an hour when he was picked out by Luke Berry’s header back across goal from Alan McCormack’s cross, volleying into the net from close range.

He said: “If we were going to get joy this afternoon it was down that left hand side through Pelly (Mpanzu) and JJ (James Justin).

“Macca’s picked out Berry brilliantly and Bez has found me. He’s deceivingly very good in the air, I don’t know if he was going for goal, but he’s managed to knock it down for me and got me a tap in, so credit to Bez as well.”

The second saw Collins picked out by Kazenga LuaLua once more, beating keeper Steve Arnold at the second attempt.

It was the fourth assist in three games from the former Newcastle and Brighton winger, as Collins said: “I owe so much to Kaz over the last four or five games.

“He’s so selfless, he commits people and he’s so sharp and he’s just getting assist after assist.

“It would have been nice for Kaz to get off the mark as well, but I’m really pleased that he’s setting me up and he’s playing really well at the minute.”