Luton Town manager Graeme Jones has lauded James Collins for the impact that he has been able to make for the club during the opening weeks of the 2019/20 Championship campaign.
Despite playing an integral role in helping the Hatters achieve promotion from League One last season by scoring 25 goals, the jury was still out on whether the forward would be capable of thriving in the second-tier having never previously played at this level.
However, after opening his account on the opening day of the season against Middlesbrough, Collins has since added two more goals to his tally.
The 28-year-old’s latest strike came in Luton’s 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town last weekend.
After his side fell behind to the Terriers, Collins levelled the clash by converting a penalty which he won himself.
Buoyed by the forward’s goal, the Hatters went on to clinch all three points as Andrew Shinnie fired in the winner at Kenilworth Road.
Speaking to Dunstable Today about Collins, Jones said: “I think James defines this club.
“If you had to look at one player for what this club is, it’s James Collins.
“It’s the underdog who’s got far more quality than people give him credit for.
“The hard worker, who hasn’t forgot his roots and where he comes from and that’s what makes James Collins an integral part of Luton Town.”
The forward could be in line to make his debut for the Republic of Ireland tonight when they face Switzerland in Dublin.
A victory for Mick McCarthy’s side in the Euro 2020 qualifier could see them extend their lead at the top of the Group D standings.
Having already illustrated that he is more than capable of competing at Championship level during the opening weeks of the season, Collins will now be looking to push on over the coming months.
As well being a menace in attacking situations, the forward has also proved his worth in a defensive sense during the current campaign as he has shown a willingness to track back for his side.
With Luton looking to establish themselves in the second-tier under Jones, there is every chance that Collins will play a defining role in helping the club achieve this goal.