Sky Blues boss admitted he tried to sign Hatters striker

Town striker James Collins
Town striker James Collins

Coventry City boss Mark Robins admitted he tried to sign Luton forward James Collins ahead of his move to Kenilworth Road in the summer of 2017.

The 28-year-old, who is a boyhood Sky Blues fans, opted to join the Hatters from Crawley Town and has been a big hit with ever since, scoring 28 goals in 69 games, including two hat-tricks.

He was on target for the second year running at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, doubling Luton’s lead in their 2-1 victory with an eighth strike of the campaign, and speaking to the Coventry Telegraph afterwards, Robins said: “They have got players who have come up with them last season and got confidence of scoring goals on a regular basis.

“James Collins is one I tried to sign last season but unfortunately we didn’t have the resources to do it.

“He gets himself into good area and they play in that way where they try to find space down the side and get crosses into the penalty area that are low.

"They try to pass it in there rather than hurling it in but they have also got the capability in there with (Danny) Hylton coming on.”

The fact that Luton could bring on a player such as Hylton, who has been the club’s leading scorer for the past two seasons, from a bench that included Alan Sheehan, Dan Potts, Luke Berry, Marek Stech and Jorge Grant, five players who were in the SkyBet League Two Team of the Year last season, alongside Kazenga LuaLua, wasn't lost on Robins either.

He added: “It is difficult to get the ball off them if you don’t set up right to play against their diamond.

“You have to get players in the right position because what they do out of possession is phenomenal because their work-rate is really, really high and that’s the sign of a team that’s at the top of the division, and they have got every chance of getting up again this season.

“We have got to get to that stage.

"But it’s not just about the running, it’s about the knowledge and the know-how and their ability in all the positions.

"That’s the eighth time he (Nathan Jones) has picked that team so they have got consistency as well.

“If you look at their bench, it’s out of sight compared to ours at the minute."