Collins: No extra pressure with Hylton absent

James Collins celebrates his 13th of the season at Grimsby
James Collins celebrates his 13th of the season at Grimsby

The absence of Town’s leading scorer Danny Hylton hasn’t put the rest of the side under extra pressure, according to strike partner James Collins.

With 17 goals to his name this term, Hylton is the club’s top marksman, but injured his hamstring against Morecambe and remains a doubt for Saturday’s home clash with Exeter.

However, Collins believes Luton have the resources to cope, saying: “Missing Danny is a massive miss as what he brings to the team, his goals, his work-rate, his enthusiasm, but that’s why we’ve got a squad.

“Hopefully he’s not out for too long as the sooner he’s back, the more chance we’ve got of getting this promotion push started.”

Collins was on target with his 13th of the season at Grimsby last weekend, popping up with three minutes of the second half gone to nod home once Luke Berry’s excellent free kick had been brilliantly tipped on to the bar by home keeper Ben Killip.

Although Dan Potts made sure by bundling the all into the net, it was clearly Collins’ goal, as he said: “I didn’t have my best afternoon as a performance, but like he (Nathan Jones) said to me after the game, ‘you were average but you got us the win and that’s what you’re here for’.

“So I think there’s a little compliment in there somewhere, but as a striker, to score the winner, in front of the away fans and to win 1-0, there’s not many better feelings.

“I just made sure I stayed onside and as soon as it Bezza hits it, it’s in.

“Then the lad’s tipped it on the bar, I’ve had a long time to think about it and just made sure I’ve got a good connection on it and then it’s way over the line.

“Pottsy’s (Dan Potts) kicked it, he always tries to nick my goals, but a great feeling.

“Especially when you go down to 10 men as you know you’re going to have limited chances and you’re not going to have the ball as much.

“Playing against three big centre halves who have all played a good level, it wasn’t my best performance, but I’ve nicked a goal so I’m buzzing.”

When asked about his match-winner, boss Nathan Jones said: “It was a wonderful save from the keeper.

“He had no right to do that as it was one of those perfect ones, it’s gone over the wall at the trajectory and pace, you think that’s in.

“Then he’s tipped it on to the bar, he’s not got enough on it and Collo’s there.

“We said to Collo at half time, he’s been poor Collo, really, really poor in terms of leading the line, but we said ‘you’ll get one chance and that’s why you’re here, that’s why we brought you here’.

“He got it and he scored and we’ve won the game.”

Returning skipper Alan Sheehan was quick to praise Town’s goalscorer for being in the right place at the right time, saying: “It was a brilliant free kick and I’m delighted for Collo.

“It was hard up there for him on his own at times and they’ve a few big centre backs, but he stuck in there.

“That’s why he’s here, to score goals and what a priceless three points that could be.”

Although as Collins stated, he didn’t necessarily have his finest display in a Luton shirt this season, he played his part in the superb defensive display, as the Hatters kept out Grimsby with 10 men for over an hour.

He continued: “You never work on going down to 10 men in any game, as you don’t expect to go down to 10 men.

“But I think with the experience we’ve got in the side and the information coming from the side, you just adjust, let them have the ball and then press them in the right areas and I thought we did that brilliantly.

“When they’re throwing the ball in the box and they’re shooting from all angles, it’s just one of those things you have to do.

“That’s why it’s all worth it when you’re on the journey home with three points.

“We dug in for each other, we defended well, we worked hard and I still think we deserved the win even though we had 10 men.

“We had to dig in deep, we got away with a couple little bits of fortune, but if you work hard, you deserve that luck.”