Date: 1st November 2009 at 3:43pm
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James Collins, Eric Lichaj and Nathan Baker are stepping up their experience having previously agreed to go out on loan for a taste of League football.

James Collins joined Villa old boy Steve Staunton at Darlington a fortnight or so again and went straight into their match with Barnet with Stan expecting big things from the youngster.

Speaking to the Darlo official site, Stan said:

‘James will offer us goals. He’s a little rough around the edges but he knows where the back of the net is. He’s a strong boy so will be able to cope with the physical side of the game in our division.’

In answering whether Collins would find anything different, Staunton joked:

‘The only difference he’ll find will be the pitches. He’s been used to playing on carpets at Villa!’

His debut against Barnet didn’t go as played as Darlo went down 3-0, but there was a bit more luck for Collins in their 2-1 loss to Hereford as he bagged his first ever league goal on 72 minutes.

It may have only been a consolation for Darlington, but with the confidence his goal will bring him, I think it would take a very daft fan to not put money on him adding to that in the games to come.

Lichaj and Baker have also been snapped up by a former Villan. Chris Sutton, new manager of Lincoln City moved quickly to bolster his defence although at the moment for both lads the loan expires around November 22nd.

Both players went into the squad for their clash against Torquay and played their parts in securing a point for their new club.

Curiously, Lichaj has been playing at left back. He’s well set for Villa when he returns then, if can he add the ability to play as a centre forward he’s a shoe in for his Premiership debut!

The recent Morecambe match was a little more low key for both. Baker has been injured in training so played no part in the game, whereas Lichaj decided to get involved in a discussion about handbags on 83 minutes. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but it’s rumoured he suggested that shoes were the new handbags and the referee violently disagreed and showed him a straight red card for his insolence.

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