Michael Collins 'more of a team player' for Scunthorpe United
IN HIS year spent on the sidelines, Michael Collins had plenty of time to analyse his game.
And having become "more of a team player", he hopes Scunthorpe United will continue to feel the benefits between now and the end of the season.
Handed a deeper midfield role by boss Brian Laws, Collins says he now has better understanding of how best to assist his team-mates.
"When I was out for a spell I think I learnt a lot more about the game anyway," the 26-year-old explained.
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"Before I got injured I think I was a little bit more of a gung-ho player.
"Sometimes it was a detriment to the team. I was sacrificing my position on the pitch hoping to cause a problem going forward.
"You can't always do that and I think I've become more tactically aware of what's required from a central midfielder.
"Sometimes I see forward runs that previously I would just have gone for without any hesitation.
"Now, I'm trying to think more from a team perspective.
"I suppose I've become more of a team player.
"I used to go into every game wanting to be the standout player, but I've realised in football it's not always like that.
"I actually think that went against me. Because I was so fixed on doing that, I actually lost track of what I was trying to do in the game sometimes.
"Now, as long as the team win and the team play well, then that's fine for me. I'm not bothered about any personal accolades."
Collins made his comeback from a long-term Achilles and tendinopathy problem in October.
He has suffered a small setback since but remains grateful for the support he has received at Scunthorpe.
He said: "I'm hoping I can put some performances in between now an d the end of the season that repay the faith this club's shown in me – first of all to bring me here, then to support me and keep looking after me through the injury process.
"Every fan I spoke to during the injury process was very supportive. I want to repay that.
"I feel indebted to that, for the rest of my career almost. I'll always hold this club close to my heart now."