Midfielder in upbeat mood ahead of Cheltenham
Michael Collins believes he’s now in much better shape to deliver his best form at AFC Wimbledon after making six appearances since joining on loan from Scunthorpe United.
Speaking to Rob Cornell on Dons Player, Collins talked in glowing terms about Neal Ardley’s coaching methods and the character in the squad.
The midfielder, who did not feature as much as he would have liked at Scunthorpe after an early season injury, said: “I’m feeling fitter with every game now. It’s always difficult when you first come into a new place to impose yourself. There are a lot of leaders in the dressing room and I’m learning from really top professionals such as Andy Frampton, Alan Bennett and Barry Fuller. For as long as I am here I will try and use it as a learning experience. I’ve been impressed with the manager and his ideas on the training ground. As a group of players we have to ensure that we take his thought processes onto the pitch.
“I’m pleased with how my fitness is coming on and I feel that between now and the rest of this season I will start to show my best form. I’ve done it in patches, but I now want to start dominating matches. I have the fitness now so there are no excuses. I know what the club is all about and how the team plays so now it’s over to me.”
Collins added that only hard work will turnaround Wimbledon’s recent barren run at home.
“Nobody has a divine right to turn up and win games, especially in this league,” the 27-year-old said. “We have to put in the application first. We’ve identified the matches coming up as key games. There has been a bit of frustration around the place, but Wimbledon is a club that’s trying to progress and everyone needs to stick together. We can start by getting three points tomorrow and then move onto Northampton.
“After speaking to the manager about coming here I know that this is a progressive club. It’s a club run very professionally, but I would not say I was surprised by that as I had spoken to Callum Kennedy beforehand. I think the manager has a bright future and I would like to think that will be with Wimbledon as they progress. I think he’s one of the good young managers in the leagues. I’m pretty sure that in the next couple of weeks we will get the points we require to make us safe and then we can look to try and progress.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch our in-depth interviews with Neal Ardley and Michael Collins on our premium site.