A win for Forest would be just the ticket says skipper Collins
DANNY Collins spent a few hours this week selling tickets to Nottingham Forest fans – but he admits it is now time for the team to give them an extra incentive to turn up.
The Reds skipper put a shift in at the ticket office on Wednesday afternoon, to the surprise of a few supporters.
But he will return to his regular day job at the City Ground tomorrow, at the heart of the Forest defence.
And, as Sean O'Driscoll's side face up against strugglers Sheffield Wednesday, Collins says only victory will do.
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While the last three games have produced good performances as well as bad, they have also failed to produce a win.
And, with the top six opening up a small gap between themselves and Forest, Collins warns that they must keep pace with the promotion pack.
"We have to get back to winning ways now. We have to stay with the pack," said Collins.
"We are only four points off the play-off places. But the only way we can get up there is to win a few games.
"We are not in a panic, because we have 30ish games left to play yet. We are in touching distance of the play-offs and we are still very much in with a shout.
"I always go back to Reading and where they were at Christmas. They were 15th or something like that, but went on to win the league after going on a really good run.
"We are capable, with the squad we have got, of going on a good run. We just need to find the consistency that has eluded us all season.
"I can only recall us winning two games back-to-back once this season. That is obviously something we need to address.
"That is what we have to look to do. Confidence can build from that and you can quickly find yourself in the top six as a result.
"We know we are capable, we just have to go out and do it."
Collins admits working behind a desk was not really his forte.
But he remains convinced that Forest do have the skill set to flourish in the Championship.
They proved as much against Middlesbrough, in their last home outing, when they should have emerged with three points, but could not make the breakthrough.
Collins does not gloss over the fact that the Reds were below par against Millwall and Leicester, either side of the Boro fixture, however.
"It is not quite to the point where we have a good game and then a bad one, but we cannot quite find that balance at the minute," said Collins.
"Credit to Boro, they wanted to play football, which let us play as well.
"We are a third of the way into the season now and we have had enough training sessions to know how to deal with teams who come to stop us playing.
"We have to look to get the better of teams when they come to do that, we have to get on top of the opposition and play our game, because we are the home side.
"We have to make sure we do that against Sheffield Wednesday.
"Against Boro, we wanted to bounce back after the Millwall result. We picked ourselves up and played some good stuff.
"We created some good chances in the first half and should have gone in a few goals ahead.
"And, while it was more stretched after the break, overall we were the better side and deserved three points.
"We knew it would be tough going to Leicester, but we went there wanting to collect three points.
"We had our heads down at half time when we were 2-1 down, but we had a few words and tried to dig ourselves out.
"There were a lot of stray passes and it got very scruffy, but credit to us for getting back into it."
The moment that got Forest back into the game was a controversial penalty awarded after Zak Whitbread had tackled Billy Sharp from behind in the second half.
Simon Cox calmly converted from the spot, leaving Foxes boss Nigel Pearson to launch into a remarkable rant, lambasting everyone from the referee to the television pundits on Sky.
But Collins does not feel Pearson had the right to feel quite as aggrieved as he made out.
"People have been asking whether it was a penalty or not," said Collins.
"I'd point out that we haven't had one for 14 months. I thought we should have had one against Boro, when Chris Cohen was pushed in the back by Andre Bikey. We didn't get that one. So we were due a decision going in our favour.
"I saw that the Leicester manager had been complaining a lot about it.
"But having seen the incident back again, while the lad did brush the ball, he has also gone in from behind.
"He came through the back of Billy to get the ball.
"Anywhere else on the pitch, nobody would have complained if the referee had given a free kick, so it has to be a penalty, doesn't it?
"Credit for the referee for standing strong. After it had happened, I spoke to (Leicester striker) Martyn Waghorn and we were debating whether it was a penalty or not.
"We honestly were not too sure. But Billy was adamant after the game, he was certain that he had come through the back of him. If you look back, he did it a couple of times on the edge of the box, during the game.
"Credit to the referee for making the decision.
"We were fortunate to come away with a point, but we will take it and we will try to build on it now.
"It is a big game for us on Saturday. We have not won in a few games now and we want to bring an end to that run."
For Forest tomorrow, three points would be just the ticket.