Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Collins Is Looking to Keep His Place

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Collins Is Looking to Keep His Place

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

DANNY Collins has voiced his disappointment at losing his Sunderland place on the back of one bad game but the Welshman realises it is a sign of things to come.

The 28-year-old was the Black Cats' player of last season having featured mostly at left-back, and made an impressive start to the current campaign in his favoured position in the centre.

But a poor showing - one of many - in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City days after Anton Ferdinand's signing cost him his place in the Premier League side until last week's match at Aston Villa. Collins admitted having to watch from the bench was hard but accepts it as the price of such a competitive squad.

A torn hamstring for Nyron Nosworthy gave Collins his opportunity in the 2-1 defeat at Villa Park and the Welshman is determined to take it. "I was gutted to be left out," he admitted. "I picked up man of the match (award) against Tottenham (in the previous league game) and then we lost the Man City game. I just got on with it, trained hard and took the chance that came my way when an injury came up.

"That's what the gaffer will expect from all of us this season. I enjoyed playing alongside Anton - it was definitely good to be back.

The squad is so big and good that no one can have a bad game really. Hopefully that will get us all moving up a level."

The Wearsiders have made an inconsistent start to the season and while some have pointed to 10 summer signings as an excuse, it is not one Collins is prepared to use. "I've heard people talk about us needing time to gel and the new players needing time to settle but it's not really been like that," he said.

"We train together during the week so we've already built a good understanding. The language barrier isn't something that's really caused us that much trouble either.

"I think there is more to come from the team. We've done well so far in terms of performances and the way all the new players have settled in but we want to build on it. …

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