Luton duo back Collins for Ireland call-up

James Collins celebrates victory at Fleetwood on Saturday
James Collins celebrates victory at Fleetwood on Saturday

Town boss Mick Harford believes that striker James Collins is hugely deserving of a call-up to the Irish squad for their European Championship qualifiers next month.

Mick McCarty’s side take on Gibraltar and Georgia, with assistant coach Robbie Keane at Kenilworth Road to watch Collins score against Wycombe recently.

His movement’s magnificent in the box, he works his socks off and I fully think he’ll get a call up and deservedly.

Mick Harford

A call-up would see Luton’s leading marksman miss the home game with Doncaster Rovers, but Harford said: “I think they will definitely have a look at him.

“He’s in form, he’s the in-form striker in the league, scored 19 goals and everyone wants goalscorers,

“His movement’s magnificent in the box, he works his socks off and I fully think he’ll get a call up and deservedly.

“We would all be delighted for him, obviously we’d miss him, but we’d be delighted for him.”

Midfielder Alan McCormack, who has played once for the Irish U19s earlier in his career, said: “Collo’s on fire at the moment, every credit to him.

“He’s another one who works extremely hard off the pitch. He’s got a superb attitude in terms of his fitness, his diet, we look at his dinner plates in the canteen and just think how can you eat that?

“There’s no sauce, just pure, clean, as clean as you can be, every single day of the week. He’s another one that works on his body, his strengths off the pitch and trains, every ounce that he’s got, he leaves it out on the training pitch.

“He deserves all the accolades that he’s getting and hopefully fingers crossed, he gets the call-up, as I believe he can be a massive help to the national side.

“Especially after seeing them play over the last few years, we’ve kind of stalled and gone downhill a little bit, struggling in front of goal.

“So if you bring someone like Collo in who knows where the back of the net is, he deserves a chance.”

Since Harford has taken over, Collins has been on fire in front of goal, scoring nine times in just eight matches.

However, the Luton chief, with two international caps for England to his name, didn’t take any credit for the red-hot form.

He added: “I’d like to say I have, but I haven’t really.

“He’s been like that all season and it just seems to be falling for him now.

“He’s in the right place at the right time and his finishing’s excellent.

“As I keep repeating myself, it’s testament to the work he does on the training ground.”