JOE JACOBSON has stressed the importance of keeping close tabs on one of his fellow promotion heroes when James Collins makes his first return to the Greenhous Meadow with Swindon this weekend (Sept 29).
Jacobson, delighted to be back in favour after starting Shrewsbury Town’s season on the bench, knows all about the predatory instincts of Collins.
The Republic of Ireland under-21 international hit 16 goals for Town before joining Swindon in the summer for a fee decided at tribunal last week as an initial £140,000 with £80,000 to potentially follow when he completes 60 games for the County Ground outfit.
Town would also receive 20 per cent of any profit Swindon might make on the striker at a later date.
With Paolo Di Canio at the helm, no Swindon player, it seems, can ever be assured of their place, but Jacobson knows his former team-mate could emerge as the Wiltshire club’s main threat on Saturday.
“We all know what a good player he is and how well he did for us last season, especially in the second half of the season when he got a lot of goals,” said Jacobson.
“He started this season well and has scored a few goals and we know if we give him a chance he will score.
“We’ve got to be on our guard to try and stop him.”
Swindon pipped Shrewsbury to the League Two title last season and Jacobson feels the clashes the teams played out last term plus the likely presence of Collins will add a little extra to what always promised to be an intriguing Meadow clash.
The Cardiff-born left-back said: “Last season when we played them early on, we managed to get a win. They were just starting out under Di Canio and he was trying to get his ideas across.
“Then later in the season when we played them away they were on a ridiculus run but I thought we should have won the game and probably would have had it not been for a decision that went against us when we should have had a penalty.
“It’s always a good game and it will probably add a bit from last season as well.”
Games like this are the reason why Jacobson is so excited to be back in the team after being an unused substitute for the opening six league matches when Rob Purdie was selected.
Jacobson, 25, is determined to do all he can to stay in the side after making his return in last week’s 4-1 thumping of Coventry.
“It’s horrible especially after last season and playing nearly every game,” he said.
“You train all week to play and when that doesn’t come it’s frustrating but you have to bide your time.”