Neill Collins has pledged allegiance to Sheffield United despite losing his first team place, writes James Shield.
And, speaking for the first time since being omitted from Nigel Clough’s squad, the former Scotland under-21 international revealed he has “come too far” with the League One club to simply leave Bramall Lane.
“I’ve put so much into United, I’ve come too far with United just to turn my back on all of that now,” Collins told The Star last night. “That’s why I don’t want to just give it up and why I’m going to fight hard to get back in.
“I still think I’ve got a lot to offer and I’ll give it my best shot.”
Collins, aged 31, has appeared in two play-off campaigns since joining United nearly four years ago and was a member of the side which reached the FA Cup semi-finals last term.
“I’ve got a great relationship with the club,” he added. “Not just me, but my family too.
“Both my kids are now Sheffield United supporters and the same goes for my wife too. I’m not going to deny I’m in a tough position at the moment but thinking about what it’s like to play in front of The Kop, the backing of the fans, things like that keep me going.
“This is a special club and things like that aren’t common across the rest of football. You don’t take them for granted or just walk away from them lightly.”
Collins has made 180 appearances for United but has not featured in any of their previous 10 games. The centre-half confirmed he decided to break his silence to try and quash some of the “strange and weird” rumours circulating on the internet about his absence.
“Sometimes, in football, this just happens,” Collins said. “One moment you are in the team and the next you’re not but that’s just the business.
“I’ll continue to work as hard and be as focused as I possibly can and I’ll look to see if there are things that I can do better to try and earn back my place because that’s what you do when you’re a professional. That’s the attitude you’ve got to have.”