Collins hails Maguire
Sheffield United's Neill Collins insists that fellow defender Harry Maguire is the real deal after an impressive start to his career.
By Chris Galea
Last Updated: 15/02/12 4:29pm
Sheffield United's Neill Collins insists that fellow defender Harry Maguire is the real deal after an impressive start to his professional career.
The 18-year-old centre-half broke into the first team at Bramall Lane during the final stages of last season and has formed a strong partnership with Collins at the heart of the Blades defence this year.
The former Wolves and Preston defender believes that the highly-rated youngster has all the attributes to get better and better as he gains valuable first-team experience.
"He was always a good player and he has just got better and better with every game he has played in," Collins told Sky Sports.
"Everyone can see that he is a top player and has done so well for an 18-year-old, but he is also learning all the time.
"That is one of the reasons why he has done so well this season because his attitude is excellent and he listens to the likes of Frank Barlow, myself, Chris Morgan and the gaffer and takes things on board.
"That is testament to the lad because he is well grounded and that can be a rarity in football, as young lads sometimes think they know it all after a couple of first-team games, but he is first class and a model professional for someone so young."
The Blades leapfrogged their cross-city rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night after Collins' first-half header secured victory at Huddersfield, but Collins knows the importance of maintaining their impressive home form till the end of the season.
He added: "There are a number of teams in this league, such as Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday, that are all considered as big games for League One standards, so we are used to clubs raising their game when they come to Bramall Lane.
"You wouldn't be human if you didn't want to play in front of 20,000, but we seem to have worked it out now.
"It caught us out a couple of times at the beginning of the season, but we've dealt with it reasonably well since then and hopefully we can continue to go from strength to strength at home."