Michael Collins a joy to watch in holding midfield role for Scunthorpe United
MICHAEL Collins' performance in a holding midfield role has given his Scunthorpe United manager 'food for thought'.
Brian Laws said he was impressed with the way his stand-in skipper offered protection to the Iron back four during Saturday's single-goal defeat at Brentford.
Having missed the first third of the season because of a tendinopathy and Achilles problem - an injury that ruled him out of almost all of the previous campaign - Collins has fast become one of Scunthorpe's key players.
On Saturday, at Griffin Park, he was a joy to watch, neatly going about his business by becoming an extra line of defence and also a useful outlet when the four midfielders in front of him were in possession.
Frustratingly for United, Collins' best form comes just months before his three-year contract at Glanford Park comes to an end.
With budget cuts and an unknown future, Laws aims to utilise the 26-year-old's talent to the maximum as they battle to stay in League One.
“Michael is a clever player," said the Iron manager.
“He understands the game, so if you give him a role and responsibility, he takes it on board.
“I felt he gave the back four protection, so that Brentford couldn’t feed balls through to the strikers’ feet, where they were dangerous.
“They ended up having to try to go longer, which fell in to our strengths.
“He did a terrific job on Saturday and that gives me food for thought, particularly when you’re away from home and need that extra bit of protection.
“Michael Collins is really switched on at this moment in time and he’s really enjoying his football.
“He’s going to be an important player for us between now and the end of the season, without doubt."