Collins Deal on Hold for a Fortnight Due to Injury
Thursday, 13th Sep 2018 15:49
Town’s move for former West Ham central defender James Collins is on hold for up to a fortnight with the Welshman having suffered a hamstring injury. TWTD revealed that the 35-year-old has joined the Blues for training last week, impressing Town manager Paul Hurst.
“He’s felt his hamstring. He had a scan the other day out of his own pocket, I hasten to add,” Hurst said when asked about the situation with Collins.
“He’s having treatment nearer to his home at the minute but it’s a deal that in my eyes at least - and the last time that we had contact with him - was still a possibility.
"I spoke with him and he understands that I can’t justify to anyone that we can sign a player that’s not fit.
“I think he’s enjoyed it when he has been in. Whether anything does happen, I guess time will tell. But at this stage he’s not an Ipswich Town player.”
Hurst says Collins appeared to be keen on joining the Blues, despite claims that his former club Aston Villa are also interested.
“He seemed to be,” he said. “It’s difficult, there are other rumours flying around. I can only say when I’ve spoken to him and how he’s found it.
“I think naturally he’s another one like Jon Walters that would gain instant respect and would bring quality, providing he’s fit and at the minute we haven’t been able to say that he is.
“And he admits that himself. He’s not trying to fool us. So, like I say, we’ll see how the situation develops over the next week, two weeks whatever it may be.”
Hurst says the injury isn’t going to cloud the issue for longer than that period.
“The information we’ve received from him speaking with [physio] Chris [Skitt] and the scan that he had was 10 to 14 days,” he continued.
“But he’ll know himself, he’s old enough, has played enough games etc, whether it needs quite as long or not. We’ll see.
“At the minute he’s getting treatment himself, but the offer’s here for him to come in and when it gets to that point that he thinks he can, if he’s still of the mind that he wants to try and get a deal here then that door’s open.
“I’ve said that he’s more than welcome now because I think from him coming in he liked what he saw, I think.
“I liked the way that he came across, the way that he was and I’d have no issue with him being around the group even if he hasn’t put pen to paper as yet.”
If Collins doesn’t join the Blues, Hurst says he’ll be in no hurry to look for another player to come in as Town’s fourth centre-back.
“Not particularly,” he said. “If there was another name that I felt was a possibility but I think you have to be careful the longer things go on.
“You’ve got to really get them in and have a look - have they been training? Where have they been training? What intensity have they been training at?
“Because we talk about how important pre-season is and even if lads are training, if they’ve missed pre-season, they’re not going to be anywhere near the levels you’d expect.
“And then to come into this group and the way that we want to work and train, could be quite difficult for someone.
“So there would be a lot of things to consider and again what we’re not doing is spending every minute of every day looking and thinking, ‘Who can we find that’s a free agent?’ just so we can go, ‘We’ve got a fourth centre-back’.
“I’m going to have problems, good problems, in terms of if Matthew Pennington plays like he did in that first game. I was happy with Toto [Nsiala], I don’t feel he should have been sent off and I stand by that.
“And then I have my captain [Luke Chambers] who is done particularly well in the last couple of games.
“It’s going to be a tough enough decision as it is and I’m not going to add to that unless I really think it’s someone that can benefit the squad overall.”
Regarding another former West Ham man, Freddie Sears, who was left out of the 18 for the Norwich match, Hurst says the striker has made no suggestion to him that he might favour a move.
“No, I’d be very surprised if Freddie wants to move, certainly to the Conference, which is the option that’s left,” Hurst pointed out.
“Freddie’s a great lad, I think he’s popular in the dressing room. He’s lively but I’ve got decisions to make.
“The squad’s not just 11 players, it’s not just 18 players and I think the coming week with the three games we’ll probably see that.
“He’ll just have to be patient and keep working to try and impress and get his chance.”
Meanwhile, U23s winger Conor McKendry has joined Lowestoft Town on loan.
Photo: Action Images
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