He’s made his mark in the Premier League but Nathan Collins insists leaving his stud-marks on Jack Grealish didn’t turn the £100m star against him.
The lunge by Collins during last Saturday week’s clash between Wolves and Manchester City was the source of amusement in the Ireland camp stemming back to Grealish’s defection to England after U21 level.
Collins’ indiscretion rules the centre-back out of Wolves’ next three games, yet there’s no fear of it festering a grudge from the winger’s side.
“It’s been eventful lately to say the least,” said Collins, who Bruno Lage made Ireland’s most expensive player in the summer by shelling out €24m to Burnley.
“That was just a mistimed tackle, nothing malicious. I waited afterwards to speak to Jack, saying: 'Listen, I didn't mean to go for you, only for the ball’ and he replied: ‘I didn't think you did – not a problem'.
“We’re on good terms and I didn’t have time to dwell on it, wanting to come here to do a job for my country.
“Club football and international football are two different things and I’m enjoying both.”
Collins, still only 21, will win his eighth cap on Tuesday night in the concluding Nations League clash against Armenia.
This time last year he hadn’t yet been blooded at senior level but is developing into a mainstay, armed with captaincy traits.
Diagnosing and accepting Ireland’s shortcomings for Scotland’s equaliser on Saturday from Jack Hendry was a case in point.
“Credit to him (Hendry) for scoring but it’s a simple one to defend,” he recalled. “We let him drive out with the ball, then score in the box but could have done better to stop the cross.
“As a team, we know that you could go through loads of things to stop that goal right from the start.
"Taking responsibility is something that I've always had in myself. I don't have a problem in leading a side.
“I want to be challenged in my career and international football is another one, adding things to my game.”