Luton striker was asking questions of himself during early season lean spell

James Shea celebrates another goal this season
James Shea celebrates another goal this season

Town forward James Collins admitted he was asking questions of his own ability to play in League One during a lean start to the season.

The attacker went nine games without a goal at the beginning of the campaign, leading to some supporters wondering when he could make the step up from League Two.

Collins was asking himself the very same thing too, but a goal against Charlton changed all that.

He has gone on to score 20 this term, including two hat-tricks and that form has led to a first call-up to the Irish national squad.

He said: “That’s always going to be the case, strikers are there, they get all the glory but if they’re not scoring the goals then they also get questions asked of them and that’s fair enough.

“I was asking questions of myself, it wasn’t just everyone else. But I kept focused, kept working hard and once that first one went in, I haven’t looked back since. “

Collins has always been a prolific marksman during his career, particularly at Shrewsbury and Crawley, but he feels he has improved even more since arriving at Kenilworth Road in the summer of 2017.

He continued: “I think you definitely do improve season by season and since I’ve come to Luton, I’ve definitely improved as a player. Nathan (Jones) brought me in, he said he’d improve me as a player and I firmly believe he has.

“As you get older and get more experienced, you start getting a good knowledge of the game.

“With the squad we’ve got here and a bit of experience and confidence, everything’s just fallen into place.

“But nothing’s been achieved yet, we need to keep going and hopefully it will be a memorable season."

The attacker also gave boss Mick Harford plenty of credit, with Collins scoring 10 in 12 since the club legend took over from Nathan Jones during January.

Collins added: "Mick (Harford) always gives me pointers and he’s always talking to me, asking if I’m okay, giving me confidence.

“I think I’ve had my best form since he’s been in charge, so he must be doing something right.”