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SWINDON TOWN: Collins hoping to bag first league goal at Shrewsbury
HE may have already hit a brilliant hat-trick against Premier League opposition this season but James Collins has yet to get off the mark in the league in a Swindon Town shirt.
However, the frontman is hoping to break his duck in fairytale fashion at the club where he made his name this weekend.
Collins travels to former side Shrewsbury tomorrow still searching for his elusive first League One goal for Town, despite firing that memorable treble at Stoke and thinking he had nudged home the only goal of the game against MK Dons, only for Matt Ritchie to be credited with the strike.
The Republic of Ireland Under 21 international became a fans’ favourite over the course of his 18 months at the New Meadow, scoring 24 times following his switch from Aston Villa in January 2011.
And in familiar surroundings on Saturday he is desperate to find his shootings boots and help his new team to three crucial points.
“I’d love to get my first league goal at Shrewsbury. It would be a great achievement for me and I’d love to do it for the club,” he said.
“It’s taken me a while to get off the mark in the league, which is disappointing because I thought I’d do it quicker than this, but everyone goes through it and if I can get the first league goal at Shrewsbury on Saturday it will give me a lot of confidence personally as well.”
Collins has left an open invitation for Paolo Di Canio to call on him for information, should the Robins boss need a little inside knowledge from a man who knows all about Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner and his squad.
“He hasn’t (asked) yet but I’m sure when we watched the clips he’ll ask a few questions and I’m always willing to give him a bit of advice if he needs it.
“I still speak to quite a number of the lads, quite a few of the lads that were there last year have left as well, they’ll be a tough side. They’ve got a good home record but we’re playing really well at the minute and we should go into it full of confidence.
“They’ve got good pace up front, obviously Marvin Morgan is awkward and quick and gets in behind defenders. They’ve got Terry Gornell who can get hold of the ball and their back four is quite solid as well. I know it’s a new back four but they’ve got a lot of good players in there and I know they keep a lot of clean sheets at home.
“It will be tough to break them down but with the quality we’ve got here I think we’re capable of doing that.”
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner is well aware of the danger posed by Collins and the rest of Swindon’s potent attacking line-up.
“They’ve moved on since last season and signed a lot of players, including Andy Williams who I know well from Hereford and obviously James Collins.
“It could be a tasty encounter as both sides play football and want to get it down and pass it.
“On the back of our 4-1 win over Coventry, we’re confident, despite conceding a late goal last weekend.”