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Collins aiming to put things right
SWINDON Town’s players will use the visit of Crawley to “put right” the aspects of their display which angered Paolo Di Canio at Hartlepool, says striker James Collins.
Di Canio was upset by the attitude and focus of his squad at Victoria Park, where Town opened their League One account with a goalless draw on Saturday.
With the Red Devils arriving at the County Ground this evening, however, Swindon have an immediate chance to make amends in the eyes of their manager.
And Collins expects the Robins to do just that.
“I think it was more the attitude the gaffer wasn’t happy about. He thought we weren’t focused enough and we didn’t work hard enough,” he said.
“We’ve got to put that right tomorrow and first home game I think there’ll be no doubt we’ll be at them straight away.
“Your first home game you want to put a show on for the fans. Pre-season we did that and we did quite well, especially the Palace game when I thought we did really well.
“Hopefully if we can play like that Crawley won’t be able to live with us.”
Collins could be set for his full competitive debut for the club following his summer arrival from Shrewsbury.
The 21-year-old is vying for a place up front with Andy Williams and Paul Benson and came off the bench for the final 20 minutes at Hartlepool to make his first appearance for Town this season.
He has now set his eyes on a regular starting berth in the Swindon side.
“I obviously got my first league appearance for the club and the gaffer gave me the last 20 minutes” he said.
“It was good to get out there and play for Swindon for the first time.
“It’s the gaffer showing trust in you and, whatever time he gives you, going out, getting some game time and proving that you should be playing.
“When you go on you’ve got to push for the next game so hopefully you can start - and if that’s the case tomorrow I have to do it for 90 minutes instead of 20.
“You’ve got four great strikers. Obviously you’ve got Andy Williams who did really well last year for Yeovil, obviously Paul has been around for a while and he’s done brilliantly for Swindon last year.
“Then there’s Miles who’s a young boy, not much experience, but he’s still got great ability.
“Only two out of the four can be there so you just have to be part of that two.”
Di Canio once again chose not to speak to the local media at the regular pre-match press call at the County Ground yesterday, with no reason given for his decision not to attend.
The Italian’s unorthodox management methods and openness have certainly been a topic of debate around SN1 of late, but Collins stressed that - from a player’s perspective - Di Canio’s style breeds success.
“The gaffer’s ways are different to a lot of managers I’ve worked with but he wants to get the best out of his players and that’s the way he goes about it,” he said.
“If that’s how he does it, and that’s how he’s been successful with it last season, you’ve got to get on with it and do your best.
“He’s experienced, he’s played at the top level and you can see his passion with the way he used to play.
“He’s trying to pass that on to us and it can only benefit you.”
Gary Roberts is unlikely to feature this evening as the winger was wearing a protective boot at the County Ground yesterday, while it is unclear whether or not Paul Caddis will be back involved with the first-team squad tonight.
Meanwhile the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash at Oxford United has been confirmed for Wednesday, September 5, 7.45pm kick-off.