Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

John Collins: I've no problem with Scott Brown

John Collins

John Collins will not temper his approach to improving players as he prepares to renew his working relationship with Scott Brown at Celtic.

Celtic captain Brown was part of a Hibernian first-team squad that aired their grievances about the methods of then manager Collins during an infamous meeting with chairman Rod Petrie in April 2007, just ahead of the build-up to a Scottish Cup semi-final against Dunfermline and weeks after their League Cup triumph.

But Collins insisted he never had a problem with the midfielder as he was unveiled as Celtic assistant manager yesterday, and vowed not to alter his hunger to improve players.

Collins, who quit Hibs after being frustrated by Petrie's financial control, said: "I had a terrific relationship with Scott on the training pitch and never had one problem with him ever.

"Why? Because he's a good professional who loves training and likes performing well. And he did perform very well for me at Hibs, week in, week out, and that's one of the reasons he got his big move to Celtic.

"What went on seven years ago is not important now. What's important is today, tomorrow and the future for myself and Scott."

When asked what he had learned from the players' revolt, Collins said: "I think you learn to expect the unexpected. I was surprised, it shouldn't have happened, it did happen and you move on.

"Have I changed? I won't change in the make-up of the human being. I like to work hard and I like to win and be successful. That's never going to change. That's John Collins, that's who I am."

When asked about his reputation as a hard taskmaster on the training ground, Collins said: "I like quality sessions, I like to try and make players better. I like improving them. My job is to make players better."

While Hibs have generally gone downhill since Collins departed in December 2007, culminating in their relegation last month, the former Scotland midfielder's coaching career has failed to take off. The 46-year-old had short spells as Charleroi manager and Livingston director of football and was most recently combining media work with coaching youngsters for the Scottish Football Association.

But he believes his patience has paid off.

"I've had a few offers to go back into football," the former Hibs, Celtic, Monaco, Everton and Fulham player said.

"I had six months in Belgium and enjoyed it, but it wasn't the place for me to be long term. I had offers but I waited to come back in. I've waited and I have a great opportunity at a fantastic club that I supported and played for."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre