IRELAND'S NATHAN Collins helped Burnley to a 2-0 win over Southampton on Thursday night with a well placed header
The managerless Burnley are now a point behind Everton in the race to avoid the drop to the Championship.
Collins lept highest from a corner at the end of the first half to give interim manager Mike Jackson back-to-back home wins for the first time since December 2020 and made it four points from six since sacking Dyche.
The 20-year-old also scored his first goal against Everton eight days after he played his first full 90 minutes for Ireland in March.
Speaking to Laura Woods from Sky after the game Collins spoke about the goal and said 'it was nice'.
He performed a knee slide and spoke during the celebration.
"Yes it wasn't nice, because I celebrated, because I didn't want to make a fool of myself, but I'm happy."
"I scored and we won 2-0, it's good win for us", he said.
🗣 “That’s all we can do at this stage of the season.”
Nathan Collins says his teammates are enjoying their football at the moment. pic.twitter.com/Sex2dCHWtF
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 21, 2022
It's been a quick rise to England's first division for Collins. The Leixlip man moved to Stoke at 17, captained the Potters at 18 and made a £12million move to Burnley at 20.
Collins now has started to show what he is capable of and will need to continue his fine form if he is to replace James Tarkowski and Ben Mee at the heart of the Burnley defense.
Speaking back in March, Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny felt that the Irishman would have to bide his time to become a regular and that time looks to have come.
“He played a lot of games for Stoke for one so young and played in different positions", said Kenny.
"He played at right-back, had a spell on the right of a back three and also as a center-back in a back four."
“Every time he has come in — he has had to play Manchester City twice — he is getting used to playing high-level games."
“But it’s been a frustrating year at Burnley because James Tarkowski and Ben Mee are such a seasoned pairing and are very effective.
"They have been established at the club for a number of years so he had to wait for his chance for one or the other to be out of the team.”
Burnley and Collins head into the game on Sunday against Wolves with the chance to overhaul Everton and move out of the bottom three, at least for a few hours with the Toffees facing Liverpool later in the day.
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) April 21, 2022