Hibs boss Collins: Player revolt made me stronger

"It wasn't very pleasant at the time," said Collins, an allusion to the day 14 players made representations to the club chairman, Rod Petrie, to express their dissatisfaction with the manager's approach. "And I have to say that I was disappointed in some people I had believed would have been more supportive. But professional football can be a bit of a jungle, so I suppose it wasn't entirely surprising that you'd be let down by some.

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"Did I ever consider just walking away from it all? Well, when something like that happens, you are faced, basically, with one of only two choices. You can crumble, simply decide the hassle isn't worth it and leave it to somebody else.

"Or you can stick to your belief that what you're doing is the right thing. I was able to look at myself in the mirror and ask all the serious questions and, with complete honesty, I was convinced that what I was doing was the right way to go. I simply had to stand by my principles, because I knew from my experiences as a player that they would be beneficial in the longer term."

Along with fantastic support from the Hibs fans during the crisis, Collins enjoyed unswerving allegiance from his assistant, Tommy Craig.

"Tommy was a terrific support, as I knew from the start that he would be," Collins told The Scotsman. "I know some people said that, when I asked Tommy to be my right-hand man, I should have brought in somebody younger. But I wanted him, first and foremost, because he is just a brilliant coach.

"He goes about his work with the same enthusiasm he has always had, his age hasn't interfered with that. He's also seen just about everything there is to see in the business, including managerial crises, changes and all the rest. We've both seen many things at our various clubs and suffered a few disappointments along the way.

"He and I were utterly committed to what we were doing here at Hibernian. Even if what happened with the players earlier this year was a disappointment, I was prepared for anything when I took the job."

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