No lack of confidence for Town striker Collins

Hatters striker James Collins
Hatters striker James Collins

Hatters’ striker James Collins isn’t suffering from a lack of confidence in front of goal this season according to boss Nathan Jones.

The 27-year-old is yet to hit the net in nine appearances so far after scoring 20 times during the club’s promotion from League Two last term.

However, Jones doesn’t think the ex-Crawley and Shrewsbury forward has been affected by the barren run, saying: “I don’t think it is a question of confidence, he’s not showing that in training, he’s still exactly the same in games.

“I know it’s a cliche, but his performance levels have been good.

“We want him to play and there’s pressure on him to score as he’s a number nine and he’s playing in a very attacking football side, but he can handle that.

“He will score goals, it’s just strikers go through this period that’s frustrating.

“They have to get themselves out of it, coupled with structure and with the work that we do, but we can’t do any more work on it.

“He’ll be fine, he gets in good areas, we get in good areas, it’s just a matter of time and god willing, that time will be Saturday.

“Strikers go through this, it’s what happened, trust me, sometimes I went 50, 60 games without scoring, it didn’t affect me.”

With Charlton Athletic the visitors to Kenilworth Road this weekend on a fine run of form, winning four out of four, then Collins, who has scored over 100 league goals in his career, will have his work cut out once more.

However, Jones didn’t want him to put too much pressure on himself, adding: “We debrief and we speak to them about things, but I don’t want him to be worried or be preoccupied with that.

“He’s got a job for the team to do first of all and if he just scored and was useless in his all-round play, then it would be a different problem.

“At the minute his all-round play is very good and he’s leading the line in the absence of Danny (Hylton), as we have a lot of second strikers here, but not in terms of nines, that can do it.

“We’ve missed Danny as Danny’s as good a nine as I know at this level, so he’s stepped into that and he’s probably just missing a goal.

“But that will happen, and that will happen sooner than later, as he’s got a fantastic record.”