Rest for Collins

Wednesday 24 April 2002

A notable absentee from the line-up against Leeds was midfield maestro John Collins. Coming on as a late substitute against Bolton on Tuesday night, the Scottish international put in another masterful performance, showing no signs of any injury problems. So why was he missing on Saturday?

"Basically the manager wanted to rest me," said Collins, speaking after the game, "Perhaps his thoughts were on the next two games, which were home games, but we won it on Saturday and he obviously kept the same team, and rightly so.

"Obviously I was disappointed to miss out, and disappointed not to be involved from the start against Bolton, but the most important thing is that the team won."

Collins confirmed that he had no injury worries.

"No, none at all," he said, "I'm feeling good at the moment. Perhaps there's a little bit of rotation in the side now; it's something the manager's wanted to do throughout the season but with injuries and whatever it's not really worked out that way.

"Bjarne's come in fresh and given us a little bit of spark, and it's turned out well. We haven't really had a big enough squad to rest everybody when we needed to, the big teams can do it, but we haven't been in that position."