Burnley's Nathan Collins eager to get off mark for Republic of Ireland against Scotland
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The 21-year-old centre back, capped four times by his country, is set to face Scotland in the Nations League at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this evening (kick-off 5 p.m.).
Ireland have failed to score in their opening two group fixtures, losing by a solitary goal to Armenia and then Ukraine, but Collins – who proved a big threat for the Clarets in the opposition box, heading goals against Everton and Southampton in home wins – feels he can contribute on that front for his country, be that by finding the net or providing an assist, with the sight of him striding out of defence a common one: “We control the ball a lot, but when teams sit against us it's hard to move it and break down a team.
"In the final third, we have lacked that end product.
“As a team, I think overall we know what we're missing, it's that bit of end product and we need to find it.
"But that can also come from a defender. I could step in and find that pass or someone else.”
And he is loving life on the international stage: “I've enjoyed it.
"I love playing against the players in the Premier League and then coming in into the international side.
"I love playing for Ireland, I love the style we play and the freedom the manager gives me.
“On a personal note I think I have done alright. I watch back my games and I look at what I can improve on and there is still a lot to go.
“I've done my job at some part, but overall we've still conceded two goals in two games so maybe I can help out the team a little more to help prevent them. If we didn't concede two goals, we wouldn't have lost two games so that can be the difference.
“As much as people are giving me praise, I still think I can do a lot better and improve a lot. I prefer to win really.”