Collins impressed by Heskey efforts
James Collins has hailed Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey as "a players' player" who has not received the credit he deserves during his career. Heskey has often been maligned by supporters at international and club level and he has taken time to win over the Villa fans. But Collins insists his contribution is always recognised by his team-mates and he has made a flying start to Gerard Houllier's term as Villa manager. Heskey scored once and set up two goals in the Carling Cup win over Blackburn and headed a superb winner in Sunday's Premier League triumph over Wolves at Molineux. Collins said: "Emile was brilliant at Wolves. Whenever he has been called upon to play, either starting or playing, he has always made an impact. "I thought he was superb and that goal topped off a first class performance. "He gets a lot of stick off fans but you ask any player who has played with him or trains in the same team as him what they think of him. "They have got nothing but good things to say about him. "He is a superb professional and a superb footballer and good to have on your team." Collins added: "Emile is a players' player. I wouldn't fancy playing against Emile week in and week out. "He has shown it over the years at every club he has been at. He scores goals. "He is a real team player, puts his body on the line for the team. It is good to see him getting his rewards." Collins believes Heskey is benefiting from the emergence of Ashley Young in the 'hole' role behind him. He said: "All centre-forwards want to be scoring goals and Ashley playing in the hole behind Emile is giving him chances. "Every time you get the ball to Ashley, he is making things happen." Collins admits the players have quickly adapted to the ideas and plans brought in by Houllier. He said: "It has been good. He has come in and put his ideas across and the boys have taken them on board. "Certainly the second half on Wednesday and the first half today, the way we knocked it around was as good as anyone. We've got to continue that. "I think the club will settle down. The new manager has come in and settled things down straight away. "Two good results always makes everyone feel better."
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