Collins fighting to be fit for Norwich clash as defender expects 'a fiery encounter'
PUBLISHED: 19:00 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:50 07 February 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town defender James Collins is expecting ‘a fiery encounter’ when the Blues take on Norwich City this weekend.
The experienced Welshman is battling to be fit for Sunday’s game at Carrow Road after missing Saturday’s defeat by Sheffield Wednesday with a hamstring problem.
Ipswich enter the game bottom of the Championship, with the Canaries currently top, but the 35-year-old remains positive about the Blues’ chances of escaping the drop.
“It’s going to take something special, but I truly believe we’ve got the manager and the squad and the atmosphere,” he said in an interview with former Norwich striker Iwan Roberts for television channel S4C.
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“It’s a pleasure to be here. You go to the training ground and it’s not a club you’d think were bottom of the league.
“Some teams you go to and you think they’re already down, but that’s not the case here. The manager signed experienced lads who can help the youngsters out, and we truly believe we can do it. It’s about winning games now, we need to go into every game trying to win.
“I’ve never been relegated as a player and I hope that record will still be there at the end of the season. It’s something I’m quite proud of, never being relegated with a team. I did it at West Ham in 2007, where we won seven of our last 10 to stay up quite comfortably.
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“I knew coming in, it was going to be a tough ask but it’s still do-able. The Norwich game’s coming up, and we’re at the opposite ends of the table, but it’ll be a fiery encounter and we’ll certainly give it our all.”
Collins joined the Blues in January after a brief spell back at Aston Villa was ended by injury, with a former West Ham team-mate vital in bringing the defender to Suffolk.
“I know Jimmy Walker, the goalkeeping coach who I played with at West Ham, so I got the heads up and then I spoke to Paul Lambert,” he said.
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“I worked with him for about two or three weeks at Villa before I went back to West Ham, so we knew each other a bit and it was just a great chance to get back in. There was no hesitation.
“I was missing football, I didn’t really know what to do with myself on Saturday afternoons, so jumped at the chance to come back and come into a challenge and hopefully do well.”
Captain Luke Chambers also missed Saturday’s game with a foot injury suffered against Aston Villa, with the skipper hopeful of a return at Carrow Road.
Watch the full interview between Collins and former Norwich City striker Roberts on the S4C Clic player, or at 11pm on Thursday night on S4C (Sky Channel 134, Freesat 120 and Virgin TV 166).