Ahead of his tenth game for the club, we sat down with Blues’ midfielder Michael Collins to talk about how he’s settled in, life in India, the club, its fans and more…
“It’s been brilliant so far. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and I believe that after the first few games, I’ve settled in well and my performances have steadily improved. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and although we’re behind the leaders, I genuinely think we can pull them back in,” said Collins.
With nine appearances in the bag, including three in the AFC Cup, Collins believes the quality of football in the I-League has taken him by surprise.
“One thing that I’ve realized is that there’s no easy game regardless of where you’re going. You’d expect to beat the teams that are at the bottom of any League, but that hasn’t been the case here. Every team is really competitive and that makes it a difficult League to win,” the 29 year old added.
Collins said he was looking forward to the return of midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh, whose injury coincided with the Englishman’s arrival at the club.
“One thing that was said to me when I joined this club is that I’ll enjoy playing alongside Eugene. He’s nearing a return now and you can tell that there’s a little bit of a buzz in the camp around his comeback. He’s an influential player and I’m looking forward to getting on the pitch with him,” Collins said.
Having turned out for Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United and Oxford United FC among other clubs, Collins maintains that the backroom staff at Bengaluru FC is among the best he’s ever worked with.
“I’ve worked with a lot of managers in my career and the gaffer (Ashley Westwood) is certainly as good as any I’ve ever worked with. The club is genuinely lucky to have him and his backroom staff and I consider myself lucky as well to be able to come out here.”
Collins also gave us his assessment of the fans as he spoke about how the unwavering support made it easier for him on the pitch.
“It struck me straight away at this club that we have some unbelievably passionate fans. I can’t praise them enough because even when the results don’t go our way, they’re there to cheer us and clap us off the pitch. From my point of view, being far away from home, having that sort of support makes a big difference. As I’ve said before they’re as passionate as any group of fans I’ve met in England and that’s credit to them,” Collins signed off.