Burnley defender Nathan Collins craving more minutes on the pitch!

Summer signing Nathan Collins is ready to dive in after dipping his toe into Premier League waters.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 10:30 am
Phil Foden of Manchester City and Nathan Collins of Burnley battle for the ball during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at Etihad Stadium on October 16, 2021 in Manchester, England.

The 20-year-old centre back has been in and out of the side since making the switch from Stoke City just over six months ago.

He's deputised several times for Ben Mee, and once for James Tarkowski, when keeping a couple of clean sheets from five Premier League appearances.

The Republic of Ireland defender also featured in Burnley' s League Cup run, taking in ties against Newcastle United, Rochdale and Spurs.

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Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers is closed down by Nathan Collins of Burnley during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley at Molineux on December 01, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England.

Collins, though satisfied with the game time granted so far, especially given the company he's keeping, has developed an appetite for more.

He said: "I could have got more, I can be pleased with it, but I want to push on. I want to play more, I want to get better.

"I’ve got a sniff of it now and I want more of it. I don’t want to stop there, I don’t want to be just happy with that many games. I want more and more and more.

"But it's a team game, I'm a team player and the gaffer is looking after the team. I’m willing to fight with these boys to get out of the situation we’re in.

"We're in a bit of a spot now but we're willing to fight to get out of it.

"That's why I want to be a team player, whether I'm on the pitch or off it, I'll help the team no matter what."

The futures of Sean Dyche's regular pairing — skipper Mee and ex-England international Tarkowski — are still up in the air, with the duo's current deals set to expire at the end of the season.

That could open up a gateway into the starting XI for the ex-Potters man, who made 47 appearances for his former employers.

However, Collins, who was absent for the FA Cup tie at home to Huddersfield Town after testing positive for Covid, is fully focussed on the task in hand, with Premier League survival at the top of his 'to do' list.

"It’s all on this season," he said. "I’m a team player, it’s all on this season. I’m going to play for the team, I’m going to be a team player when I’m on the pitch or not, and I’m willing to fight with these boys to get out of the situation we’re in, so all concentration is on this season.

“I knew coming in here was going to be a tough challenge to get ahead of two or three centre halves in the team, but anything can happen in football.

"I knew it was a tough challenge against other centre halves but then with these games coming thick and fast, injuries are going to occur so I just have to be ready.

“I think it’s healthy, I think we’re all pushing each other. I think we’re all making each other better players. If I can create better performances again, then I can push them as well as myself."