Collins: I knew exactly where Berry was going to put free-kick for Millers winner

Town attacker happy to be back on the scoresheet after almost two months
Town striker James CollinsTown striker James Collins
Town striker James Collins

Town attacker James Collins revealed he knew exactly where team-mate Luke Berry was going to deliver the free kick that saw him score his fifth goal of the season at Rotherham United on Wednesday night.

After Kazenga LuaLua was hauled over on the right hand side for a set-piece, Berry sent over a wonderful ball into the area where Collins had timed his run perfectly to volley past Jamal Blackman with 20 minutes to go.

It was Collins’ first goal since netting at Barnsley on September 12, ending a five game personal drought, bagging a 64th goal in 147 outings for the club in the process, as the forward said: “We practice them, I’ve got eye contact with Bez, I knew exactly where he was was going to put it and to be fair, he’s put it on a plate for me.

“All I have to do is get contact and it’s a goal, so as much credit goes to him.

“That’s what I’m in the team to do and I’m obviously after all the misses that I had, I was delighted I just managed to get good contact on it and it's managed to go in.”

Collins, who had to miss three matches recently after testing positive for coronavirus, really should have been celebrating earlier in the half, somehow unable to turn George Moncur’s inviting cross over the line from a matter of yards.

He continued: “It was just behind me and I’ve got something on it, it’s hit the defender and it went wide.

"I couldn’t tell you where it’s hit me, it's just one of those things.

"It’s just getting back into the swing of things and finding my feet and I'm delighted to get the winner.

“We had one (George Moncur opportunity) in the first half, Sonny (Bradley) had a header as well and then I’ve had a couple of great chances in the second half that I couldn’t quite get to.

"George went through one-on-one and the obviously the goal as well, we have had the best chances overall, so I think the result is fair.

“You want to kill the game off and get that second goal, but it just wasn’t falling for us.

"We defended outstandingly though, the back four, Simon (Sluga), the midfielders, we all defended set-pieces and in the end we didn’t really look like conceding.”

Town had struggled to get going during the first period, after manager Nathan Jones made six changes to the side who lost 3-0 against Brentford on Saturday, Collins himself one of them, replacing Danny Hyton upfront.

The visitors were indebted to two marvellous save from Sluga to keep them on level terms, as he went on to keep a fourth clean sheet from 10 games this term, three of them away from Kenilworth Road.

Collins added: “First half was not so good, but second half was a great performance.

"To come away in the Championship and win 1-0 away from home, is a great result, people say it’s the best result in football, so we’re certainly happy with it in there.

"Throughout the game we had the best chances, but we were second to everything all over the pitch in the first half and second half we were bang at it and showed what a good side we are.

“Maybe with the six changes, the flow wasn’t quite there, Harry’s (Cornick) been out injured as well, so I don’t know if that’s the reason why but second half we got to grips with it and we were a lot better.

“The two saves in the first half were brilliant, especially the first one, I was right behind it and I thought it was in.

"So credit to him (Sluga), he’s got himself another clean sheet.

"I don’t know if he got this many clean sheets the whole of last year, but he’s got a lot now and he’s showing us what a good goalkeeper he is.”