Forest signing Collins hopes for defensive company at the City Ground
WHEN Nottingham Forest face Mansfield Town behind closed doors on Saturday, Danny Collins can safely expect that he will be one of the first names on Sean O'Driscoll's team sheet.
As he sat in the manager's office agreeing the final details of his £500k move from Stoke last night, Collins' attention was drawn to a board containing the names of the Reds squad.
In somewhat understated fashion, the 31-year-old admits it was a list that did not include 'many' defenders.
With O'Driscoll working hard to bring in more signings – with Greg Halford and George Friend next on his list of targets – Collins will have some support by the time the new season kicks-off.
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But, when Forest step-up their pre-season preparations with a trip to the One Call Stadium in a few days, Collins will be marshalling a back four that does not include much experience.
"At the minute, I am going to be busy! There were not too many defenders on the board in the gaffer's office," said Collins.
"But I think he is hoping to get one or two more in the next few days, so hopefully that will happen and we can get things organised on the training ground.
"We want to get ready for the start of the new season. It is an interesting prospect to be part of an entirely new back four.
"It is a first for me signing for a club where you are the only experienced defender. I know Chris Gunter pretty well, he has obviously just gone to Reading. Luke Chambers has left for Ipswich and Wes Morgan went to Leicester last season – so the core of the back line has gone, really.
"I am a fresh face and there will be other boys coming in as well, so hopefully we can settle down and gel together well."
Collins, in fact, spoke to Gunter – as well as one or two other players – before making his decision to join Forest. But he says he did not take much persuading.
"I spoke to Chris, Danny Higginbotham and to Reidy as well, who I know pretty well from being at Sunderland with him," he said.
"Everyone says good things about the club; everyone spoke highly about the gaffer as well. They enjoyed his training sessions and the way he was with them.
"He is a manager who likes to play good football and that is important to a player when you are thinking about signing for a club. Forest have a great pitch at the City Ground and it is a shame to waste it.
"Footballers like to get it down and play. That is what the fans want to see and, if we can do that, and get results at the same time, it is even more of a bonus."
Collins jetted back from Stoke's pre-season tour of the USA to sign for Forest. Now he hopes a few more players will make the journey to the City Ground in the near future.
"Hopefully the gaffer can bring in a few more players on board. It is a good squad and, hopefully, with a couple more additions, we can be at the right end of the table, pushing for promotion."