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NATHAN JONES ON JAMES COLLINS AND DANNY HYLTON

27 September 2018

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has said that he has been pleased with James Collins' performances so far this season, with the striker yet to bag a Sky Bet League One goal for the Hatters.

Collins' goals were vital last season – his 20 strikes last season contributing massively to Town's promotion from the fourth tier.

The gaffer has said that whilst he would hope to see his striker grab himself a goal, he wants to see the rest of the team chip in with goals.

He said: "It's up to everyone, everyone has to [score goals]. We create enough from all over the place. James' performance levels have been very good. He will score goals, it's just strikers go through this period, it's frustrating. We can't do anymore work on it, he gets in good areas, we get in good areas and it's just a matter of time. God willing, that time will be Saturday.

"We debrief and speak to them about things, we don't want him to worry, he's got a job to do for the team first of all – if he just scored and was useless in his all-round play then look, it would be a different problem.

"At the minute, his all-round play is good, he is leading the line in absence of Danny, because we have a lot of second strikers here, but not nines. We've missed Danny because he's as good a nine as I know at this level. He's probably just missing a goal, that will happen, sooner or later that will happen because he's got a fantastic record.

"I don't think it is a question of confidence. In training he is still exactly the same, his performances – I know it's a cliché – but his performances have been good, there is pressure on him to score.

"He's playing as a number nine in a very attacking side, so there is pressure on him, but he can handle that. strikers go through it, it's what happens, trust me. I went 50 or 60 games without scoring, it didn't affect me!"

Jones understands supporters' frustration at the lack of clarity on the length of time Danny Hylton will be out injured for, but with the problem the striker has, it's particularly difficult to put a time frame on it.

"He's close, he's out with us on the grass," the Welshman continued.

"So we've just got to be careful, it's so tricky. I know people are frustrated because there's not much that's come out about it, but there's not much we can say.

"It's not like we can say, 'right, he's torn his hamstring, it's ten-14 days and he'll be back,' He hasn't torn anything, he hasn't done anything. It's just a neural issue, which sends nerves into his hamstrings that when we push him it's come on a little bit, so we've just got to build him up.

"When we're satisfied, when he's ready for the exposure of first team football then we will do that. we need him now, we want him now, any team in the league would miss Danny Hylton, but we also want him available for a majority of games and he's frustrated, we're frustrated that he's not come back a little bit quicker, but there's a process which we have to stick to.

"It could be days, it could be Saturday if everything goes well with no problems. It could be Tuesday, it could be next week, we don't 100 per cent know. We know everything about the injury, it's just about being comfortable enough so that he doesn't breakdown again."


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