Michael Collins grateful to have a chance to shine at Leyton Orient after frustrating summer struggling with a foot injury
PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 November 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
Experienced midfielders last played for I-League side Bengaluru and appreciated being on the pitch again on Saturday despite the defeat
Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Collins is delighted to be at Brisbane Road and more motivated than ever to turn things around for the east Londoners in League Two.
The 30-year-old has been without a club since the summer and a foot injury had denied him the chance to impress possible suitors.
But the ex-Huddersfield Town ace is fully fit now and after earning a short-term deal until January with O’s on Friday, he is more grateful than ever to be playing again.
“It was nice to get back out on that pitch and I said that to a couple of the lads in the dressing room,” said Collins after making his debut as a half-time substitute in the 2-0 loss to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
“There might be a bit of negativity from the stands, but it is nothing to when you are sat at home and don’t know where the next contract is coming from and you’re watching the scores come in.
“You are wishing you could be part of something so I’m at Leyton Orient full of enthusiasm and trying to put things right.”
Collins’ journey over the past 12 months has taken him to all different parts of the world.
The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international was with York City this time last season on loan from league rivals Oxford United.
But Collins was released by the Yellows in January and made the surprise decision to sign for Indian outfit Bengaluru, helping them to win the I-League title in April.
After a frustrating summer on the sidelines, Collins linked up with O’s for the first time last week and didn’t need long to earn a contract.
He added: “The club asked me to come down to training on Tuesday (October 25). I’ve been back fit after an injury and a terrible time in the summer being out of contract.
“I was just waiting for the right opportunity and there were a couple of options on the table, but none that were suitable for the level I think I can play at.
“When I got the opportunity to come to Orient to train I had no problem with that. I back myself and I’ve done enough for the manager to think I’ve got something to offer.”
Collins was thrust into the deep end on Saturday with Orient two goals down to Crewe and facing the prospect of another home defeat.
Although he couldn’t do anything to improve the result, the new O’s number seven did try to get them playing and his experience could be important in the coming months.
Collins said: “I was told to just get in amongst it by the manager, get on the ball, get us playing and try to link up play. It was quite an intense warm-up, usually you do it on your own, but it is just the way they do it here and I’ve no problems with that.
“The message was just to be positive and try to have an impact. It’s been quite a while since I last played. I surprised myself because I felt good and full of running.
“I’m naturally quite a fit lad anyway so the more training and game time I get, hopefully I can go from strength to strength in the fitness department.”
There were not many positives from Saturday, but Collins did show during his time on the pitch that he may prove to be a good signing. But these are worrying times for Orient who have lost eight games in all competitions at Brisbane Road this season.