Actions speak louder than words for Danny Collins, as Nottingham Forest look to climb
FOR Danny Collins, it is a time for action, rather than words.
Amid a season that began with lofty talk of a promotion push for Nottingham Forest, a sustained challenge for a place in the top six has never quite materialised.
The Reds did manage to force their way into the play-off places briefly, but it was for a matter of hours, rather than months.
Largely, they have been on the periphery; on the fringes of where they want to be.
Bissell's 8910E Aroma Pro is the ultimate in home cleaning giving you a machine that provides outstanding results when not just cleaning carpets but stairs and upholstery too.
Terms: Limited Stock Offer . FREE Delivery to most UK postcodes.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Tuesday, May 28 2013
And, while the Forest skipper again talks ambitiously about how Alex McLeish's side can still forge a meaningful bid for Premier League football, he is also realistic.
He knows now is the time for Forest to back up their confident words on the pitch.
With less than 20 games remaining of the campaign, Collins knows now is the time, if Forest are going to produce the form that will finally carry them into a position among the real contenders.
Between now and May, Forest need to make the step up into the top six – and stay there.
"Millwall, Brighton, Watford, there are a few teams in and around the play-offs who are just above us," says Collins. "We feel that, if we can collect a few back-to-back wins, we can catch them.
"And, when you get there, you need to maintain things.
"As we have found recently, when you lose a game or even draw one, you can lose ground, because the competition is that intense.
"You can drop a few places just with one result.
"But, when you look at the fixtures we have in February, while we take nothing for granted, we do feel that there are a few potential victories in there for us.
"We have not picked up three wins on the bounce all season.
"So that would be a good place to start, if we can do that.
"Getting nine points on the board would be a massive step in the right direction.
"We have collected four points from the last two games – we have some momentum which we need to keep going.
"We have to try to build a run and make sure we maintain pace with the rest of the pack.
"It will be tough if we don't maintain a run now. Now is the time to do it."
Almost a month after his arrival, Forest's players are now becoming attuned to the demands of Alex McLeish.
But there may be just a little more change on the horizon, with the manager still keen to recruit more new faces, to add to his own, before the transfer window slams shut.
"If someone is coming in, in my position, I always look forward to the challenge," says Collins. "You have the shirt and you want to keep it.
"You want to do what you can for the team, week in, week out – but you also want to hold on to your place in the team.
"In terms of the positions the gaffer wants to strengthen, you would have to ask him.
"People around the club know we are looking to strengthen and, if we can bring in a few, it will be good for the club.
"We want to be in the play-offs, we want to be up there at the end of the season.
"If the gaffer gets the right type of player in, it will be good for the club.
"We dug out a result against Peterborough and then did well against Derby. They had only been beaten a few times at home all season, but we did well.
"They started better, as we were scruffy on the ball.
"But then we settled down and they did not cause us too many problems, asides from the goal.
"We wanted to get a winner, but it wasn't to be. Nevertheless, we have four points from two games and it is something to build on.
"But, in this league, if you are not on your game, you can be beaten by anyone.
"You just have to hope that the results will come if you produce good performances.
"We want to give it a good go in the final run of games."
Today, the visit of Watford will provide a timely barometer of Forest's chances, with Gianfranco Zola's side having found their form emphatically over recent months.
"We have looked at a video of Watford and the strengths they have," says Collins.
"In terms of Watford, that is important, because they have a lot of foreign players who we do not know too much about.
"There are a few who stand out, with the lad Vydra playing in the hole and causing lots of problems, in the same way as Radi Majewski does for us.
"That is the kind of thing we will be looking at.
"He got both goals for them when we went down there, but they have other good players as well.
"They are on the up, they will come here confident and we have to stop them.
"When Dan (Ayala) got sent off and we found ourselves down to ten men at their place, when we were already 2-0 down, it became damage limitation.
"But, in the second half, we gave a good account of ourselves.
"Now, with them coming to our place, we want to put on a good performance and get a positive result, because you do not want to be beaten by the same team twice in one season.
"You don't want to lose six points to one of the sides you are hoping to keep pace with."
But, as Collins says, at this stage of the season, actions speak louder than words.