Danny Collins doesn’t expect Stoke City return

DANNY Collins has called time on his career with Premier League Stoke City.

But finalising his New Year move to Ipswich Town, either on a permanent basis or a second loan spell, is a little less clear-cut.

The Welsh international has today paid a massive tribute to the Blues but admitted he is keeping his options open ahead of his loan deal at Town ending in the middle of December.

Collins admits his personal situation – his wife gave birth to their first child seven weeks early – will come into his thinking when he looks at his options.

But the defender insisted: “My thoughts are that I probably won’t play for Stoke ever again. I’ve enjoyed my time at Stoke as they are a good set of boys, but realistically I don’t feel that I have been part of it – unlike when I was at Sunderland.

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“I am looking at how my future lies elsewhere. I have enjoyed my time here (at Ipswich), it is a good club, good set-up and good facilities. But I have got things, other than football, to think about.

“The honest answer is I don’t know (what will happen). I am just trying to concentrate on doing well for Ipswich, game-to-game, and see what happens.”

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Collins has had three different defensive partners in consecutive games and will today look to bring steel back to the side’s fragile defence alongside Ivar Ingimarsson when Town visit Nottingham Forest (3pm ko).

After breaking into the play-offs on the back of a six-match unbeaten run, they will be looking to arrest a slide which has since seen three consecutive defeats.

“For six or seven games, we were playing some top football against sides who are at the top of the table at the minute,” Collins said. “We had some good results, but over the last few weeks I don’t really know what has happened. It’s hard to put your finger on what has gone wrong as we were doing so well.”

And while his form has dipped in recent weeks, alongside that of the whole team, Collins was adamant it had nothing to do with his family situation, adding: “Personally, when I am on the pitch, whatever happens off it, I try and put it out of my mind and I am fully focused on the 90 minutes of football.”

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