Collins Facing Big Decision in January
Saturday, 19th Nov 2011 08:42
Central defender Danny Collins says he’s enjoyed his time with the Blues but is yet to make a decision on whether to return to Portman Road when the transfer window reopens in January. The 31-year-old’s 93-day loan from Stoke ends after the Derby County game in mid-December having been extended earlier in the week after he returned home to be with his fiancée, who recently gave birth to their son seven weeks prematurely.
Collins says he has had a brief conversation with manager Paul Jewell regarding his future: “I’ve had a quick chat with him. I go back to Stoke on December 17th and train there until the transfer window opens.
“I’ll have to see what happens. I’ve enjoyed it here, it’s a good club, good set-up, good facilities and I don’t think we’re too far off [being a decent side].”
The former Sunderland and Chester man doesn’t expect to have any future involvement at Stoke: “I haven’t spoken to Tony Pulis at all. I wouldn’t have thought [I would play a part at Stoke]. You have to rename the 25-man squad in January but my thoughts are that I won’t play for Stoke ever again.
“It’s looking like my future lies elsewhere and I’ve enjoyed my three months here, but I’ve got things other than football, the birth of my son recently, and he’s three and a half hours away at the moment.
“Whether I could come back on loan to the end of the season or whether Ipswich perhaps want to do a permanent deal, I’d have to have a think about it because it’s a big decision to make. I’ll have to think about it and see what happens in January.”
He says his fiancée Danielle, who liked what she saw of Ipswich on a visit earlier in the season, will also play a role in making his choice: “Where we’re based just above the Midlands there are a lot of clubs in those areas and perhaps she’ll be thinking I can stay local. I don’t know, to be honest. I’m just trying to concentrate game to game while I’m here, trying and do well for Ipswich and then seeing what happens.”
The Wales international says he’s not sure why the Blues’ form has slipped of late: “For six or seven games after I came here we were playing some good stuff, creating some good chances and playing some top football against teams who are at the top of the table at the moment, going to places like Cardiff and Middlesbrough and coming away with some good results.
“Over the last few weeks I don’t know what’s happened. We beat Portsmouth 1-0 but were lucky to get anything on the night. And then we’ve lost three games on the trot and it’s hard to put your finger on what’s gone wrong because we were doing so well before going to the other extreme.
“But we’ve had a couple of weeks’ break now with the international games. We’ve worked hard in training and hopefully we can put it right at Forest at the weekend.”
Like fellow loanee Keith Andrews, Collins says interest from Premier League clubs wouldn’t necessarily scupper his chances of joining Town: “As Keith said, I don’t think it’s the be all and end all. You want to be playing where you’re happiest really.
“I’ve enjoyed being at Stoke as they’re a good set of boys but realistically I’ve not felt fully part of it in the way.
“When I was at Sunderland for five years I felt a good part of it there, it’s just how it works sometimes at football clubs and sometimes you just have to move on. We’ll see what happens.”
That lack of involvement at the Britannia Stadium meant that he and Ibrahima Sonko, another former Potter, had hardly crossed paths before forming an impressive central defensive partnership at Town, never playing a game together while with the Premier League side.
He says the spell between leaving Town after the Derby match and the transfer window reopening will give him a chance to consider his future and get to know his son: “I can spend a bit of time with my baby. I’ve only seen him for one or two days a week while I’ve been here.
“I’ll have a think about what’s happening, what gets said and have a think about what I’m going to do.”
Collins, who insists that one thing he won’t be doing is seeing out the remaining 18 months of his Stoke contract on the sidelines Winston Bogarde-fashion, says all is now well with his fiancée and their son despite his early arrival.
The defender says he’d just ordered a meal with team-mate Michael Chopra when the phone suddenly rang: “Chops was round at my hotel getting some food. My missus came on the phone and I’d only just been on to her for half an hour, so I asked ‘what’s happened?’ and she said her waters had broken and that I ought to get myself back.
“I got back on Thursday at 9 at o’clock-ish and I was in the hospital with her and she had him at half-five on the Friday morning. I was sat in the hospital for 12 hours and the baby had to go to Alder Hey [Children’s Hospital in Liverpool] because he was early.
“A driver picked me up at 8am and I got down to London at about 11.30 before the Millwall game. The gaffer spoke to me and said if I didn’t feel like playing he’d understand but I thought I can’t do much more than sit in the hospital while he had treatment.
“The game took my mind off him while he was covered in tubes and wires and all that. Wish I hadn’t come down though when we lost 4-1!”
He says his fiancée has spoken regularly with Carlos Edwards’s wife, who gave birth to premature twins recently: “My missus gets on with Carlos’s because we were at Sunderland together. She speaks to Denille, Carlos’s missus, quite a bit.
“Their babies were very early because she was having twins. They were 2lb 2oz and 2lb 3oz or something like that. He was a good weight mine, he was 5lb 6oz, which isn’t a bad weight as he was quite early. He would probably have been a big bruiser at 10lb if he had gone full term.
“She’s been on to Denille and I think Carlos has been in the same boat as me. He’s been here, there and everywhere.”
Collins says the new additions to the Edwards household are also both doing well: “They’re all right, they’re up to a massive 3lbs each now.”
Photo: Action Images
Photo: Action Images
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