Collins' absence from Ireland squad is no bad thing for Luton boss

Hatters striker James Collins missed out on the final Ireland squad
Hatters striker James Collins missed out on the final Ireland squad

Missing the Republic of Ireland’s next two Euro 2020 qualifers is no bad thing for Town striker James Collins, according to his new boss Graeme Jones.

The Luton chief knows full well just what kind of effort it takes during time away on international duty, having been assistant manager of Belgium when they were in a World Cup.

Collins, who played 48 games for the Hatters last season, scoring 25 goals, was called up by Mick McCarthy for his initial squad, but then didn't make the final selection for the matches with Denmark and Gibralter.

Jones said: “The shift he puts in day to day, I’ve not seen a harder working centre forward in the country than James Collins.

“We have to be thankful we’ve got him at our club and he’s a talisman.

“I’m pleased because I know what international football does as I was at Belgium for two years.

“These people play for 11 and a half months of the year, it’s an incredible commitment.

"So in many ways, I’m happy that he didn’t go, hopefully that it will pan out in the future.”