Paul Warne reveal could be massive for Derby County in Bolton, Barnsley promotion race: View | OneFootball

Paul Warne reveal could be massive for Derby County in Bolton, Barnsley promotion race: View | OneFootball

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Football League World

·2 March 2024

Paul Warne reveal could be massive for Derby County in Bolton, Barnsley promotion race: View

Article image:Paul Warne reveal could be massive for Derby County in Bolton, Barnsley promotion race: View

Highlights

  • James Collins is expected to return to Derby County earlier than anticipated, boosting their promotion hopes in League One.
  • A potential comeback by the top scorer could elevate the team's performance and potentially affect the result of their remaining games.
  • Collins' contribution goes beyond scoring goals, enhancing his teammates' performances and adding depth to Derby's attacking play.

Derby County have been given a huge boost ahead of their League One promotion run-in, with top scorer James Collins expected to return sooner than first thought.

The 33-year-old had been initially ruled out of action until early April after going down early in the second half of the Rams' 3-0 win over Exeter City last month. Having received lengthy treatment, he was able to finish the match but has not featured since.


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It proved a bitter blow for Paul Warne's side, who failed to add a striker during the January transfer window period, but were able to get a deal over the line for free agent Dwight Gayle, who left Championship side Stoke City earlier in February.

However, an update by Rams head coach Paul Warne revealed that Collins could return to the first-team fold by the end of this month, which could be a huge boost for Derby's promotion bid, and worry the sides around them.

Paul Warne expecting to welcome James Collins back by the end of March

Article image:Paul Warne reveal could be massive for Derby County in Bolton, Barnsley promotion race: View

Warne gave an update on the fitness of Collins before his side fixture against Port Vale, revealing that he is hopeful that the 33-year-old can have a huge say in the promotion race as the final month of the campaign approaches.

Speaking to the Derby Telegraph, Warne said: "I've randomly thrown this out because the doctor said to me before that it would be four weeks, which in my eyes is three because you've always got to take something off.

"James is as keen as mustard, so I'm hoping he will be back by the end of March, which will take us into April in much better fettle. But there is a caveat in there in that it could all go Pete Tong, and he could be out for 10 years. But he is in great shape. It is going well.

"As with any recovery, there could be a swelling or something, but touch wood, hopefully, he can be back in March and if he is listening to this - he stalks me all the time - it would be great to have him back.

"He looks amazing and in fairness, he was on the terraces at Barnsley on Saturday. He's having a great time. In fairness, he got the physio to come and tell me the good news today. The physio said James wants me to tell you this, and I said OK, I'm sitting down.

"He feels great, but again, a ligament will feel great if you don't do anything on it."

Article image:Paul Warne reveal could be massive for Derby County in Bolton, Barnsley promotion race: View

There has been no denying the quality that Collins brings to this Derby side whenever he features, and this season he has added more goals to his game after struggling during his maiden campaign at Pride Park.

The 33-year-old has already bettered his total from the entirety of last term, scoring 18 goals in all competitions, 13 of which have come in League One this season.

But it's not just his goal-scoring that has been eye-catching this season, but his all-round build-up play, allowing the likes of Tyreece John-Jules, Tom Barkhuizen, and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing to chip in with a few goals, while also providing the six-foot striker with a few assists along the way.

The news will serve as a huge boost for the East Midlands side as they head into the final 10 games of their season this month, with the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Barnsley, and Portsmouth along with the Rams all fighting for those two automatic promotion places.

It seemed all doom and gloom when Collins' initial period on the sidelines was announced, but the latest update on the 33-year-old striker will give Rams fans confidence that their side can end their two-year stay in the third division and return to the Championship.

They could have their first choice striker back earlier than first thought and in a race at the top that is so tight, that could make all the difference.

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