Now Neill Collins is in the Wolverhampton Wanderers team, the central defender wants Mick McCarthy, the manager, to adopt the same policy as when he wasn’t — consistency of selection.
Collins’ form has been a major factor in Wolves’ best run of the season, three consecutive wins, which has propelled them towards the Championship play-offs, but even as the linchpin of a defence that has conceded only one goal in those three matches, the former Sunderland man is concerned about his starting place.
The 23-year-old came in when Jody Craddock was injured on Boxing Day and has remained in the side — helped by the suspension of Gary Breen. Now the two veteran centre-backs are fit and available, Collins, who cost #150,000 in the January transfer window, has urged McCarthy to stand by his man.
"When I came to the club Jody and Breeny were playing so well I could not get in the team, so that policy should not really change when others are playing well to hold down their place," Collins said. "The team is playing really well and long may it continue but, by the same token, we are going to need everybody between now and the end of the season.
"Everyone is happy for one another, whether they are playing or not, and it is going to be the same between now and the end of the season."
While he is not guaranteed his place against bottom-placed Leeds United at home on Saturday, neither, he says, are his team guaranteed a win. "Sometimes you look at a game on paper and think a team might come to Molineux and just roll over and get beaten," he said.
"That's never the case. Burnley had been 11 on the trot without a win last week and would have been working on how to beat us and that's something we've got to overcome. No team turns up and just stands aside to let you play your football and Leeds will be no different."