Luton chief hails Collins' reaction after top scorer has been forced to 'swallow a bit of pride'

Town striker bags an 11th of the season against Barnsley

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 1:48 pm
James Collins fires home his 11th of the season against Barnsley yesterday

Town boss Nathan Jones admitted top scorer James Collins has had to ‘swallow a bit of pride’ after losing his place in the side to Eljah Adebayo recently.

The 30-year-old has been one of the first names on the teamsheet for the Hatters pretty much since he arrived at the club for an undisclosed fee from Crawley Town back in the summer of 2017.

However, in recent weeks, he has played second fiddle to transfer deadline day signing Adebayo, starting just one of the last nine games, that the 3-0 defeat to Norwich City.

It was the same on Monday, as Collins was on the bench once more, replacing Adebayo with 20 minutes left, Luton trailing 2-0.

He quickly gave Town a lifeline with a measured finish past Bradley Collins from the edge of the box to notch an 11th of the season and first since the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield on February 6, after his effort against Preston recently went down as an own goal.

With Collins out of contract at Luton next season, his immediate situation remains unclear, but Jones was quick to praise the forward, who now has an impressive 70 goals in 176 games for the Hatters, saying: “I’m delighted for Collo as he’s had to take some stick and people are saying ‘he’s done this and that,’ but he’s done so, so well.

“Collo’s been through a real dry spell, but he should have got the goal against Preston regardless of what people say.

“He’s had to go through a tough time, had to swallow a bit of pride but he’s come out and reacted and done superbly well.”