Collins learning plenty working under Town boss Jones

James Collins holds the ball up against West Bromwich Albion
James Collins holds the ball up against West Bromwich Albion

Forward James Collins believes he is learning a huge amount from working with Town chief Graeme Jones.

The Luton boss was himself a striker during his playing days, and one of some repute as well.

He scored over 100 goals during his days with clubs such as St Johnstone, Wigan Athletic and Doncaster Rovers to name just three.

Since then, Jones has gone on to coach some of the finest forwards in world football, especially during his time as number two with Belgium and Everton.

Collins believes that knowledge has been rubbing off on him, saying: “He’s been fantastic, for me personally and then collectively for the group, he’s been brilliant.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with him and I think he’ll be a great acquisition for this club.

“He was a striker when he played and he’s coached some of the best strikers in the world, some of the best attacking players in the world.

“It’s just the little pointers he gives me and what role he wants me to play this year, it’s really working and I’ve really enjoyed working with him.

“He’s so down to earth and so humble, as he just wants the best for his players.”

Collins is already up and running with his first goal at Championship level, coming in the 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough.

He has played every minute in the league so far and on how the experienced forward has adapted to the step up in quality, Jones said: “He’s a 100 per center is James.

“At the weekend (against West Bromwich Albion) what people won’t know is that I asked him to do a job off the ball on Romaine Sawyers .

“That was a bit of the game plan – so it took away a little bit from his natural game, and his attacking threat.

“But the adaptability of the player and the willingness of the player is what we asked for and he’s been fantastic so far.”

Collins has also been named in the provisional Republic of Ireland squad for their matches against Switzerland and Bulgaria next month.

The 28-year-old made Mick McCarthy’s final squad earlier on this year, although didn’t get on the pitch to win his first cap for his country.

He is now part of a 40-man squad for games with Switzerland on September 5, a Euro 2020 qualifier, pus the friendly with Bulgaria on September 10, both matches held at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

On the selection, Jones added: “That’s how far the club has come in the last few years.

“We’ve got a Republic of Ireland and a Croatian international (Simon Sluga), and we need to keep adding to that in the future."