WALES Under-21s boss Paul Bodin has urged Lewis Collins to earn the trust of his new Newport County AFC manager after the forward missed out on an international fixture at Rodney Parade.

Collins finished last season superbly when joining forces up front with Padraig Amond, scoring his first senior goal against Scunthorpe and then netting in the League Two play-off semi-final win against Forest Green Rovers at Rodney Parade.

The 20-year-old started in the first game of the current campaign at Oldham Athletic but has since been a fringe figure.

Collins won his first Under-21s cap last season and played in the Euro 2023 qualifier against Moldova in June shortly after suffering Wembley woe with the Exiles.

However, he was left out of the squad last month and is again absent for the upcoming fixtures in Gibraltar and against Switzerland in Newport.

South Wales Argus: PROSPECT: County forward Lewis CollinsPROSPECT: County forward Lewis Collins

Collins has been an unused substitute in both games since James Rowberry was appointed and is likely to be on the bench again for the FA Cup tie at Morecambe this weekend before starting in the EFL Trophy clash at Swindon on Tuesday.

Bodin hopes that the rapid forward can grasp his chance and show the mental strength to go with his talent.

"Lewis Collins is one who has been in and around the Wales squad but he falls in and out of favour very quickly at Newport," said Bodin.

"We picked him in March when he was in the doldrums. I picked him because I like him as a player and feel that he has got a lot of ability.

"He went back to Newport and had a great run at the end of the season and did well in the play-offs.

"I am disappointed for him that he's not been involved too much, although he has been back on the bench in the last two games.

"Hopefully under James it is a fresh start for him because we all know what he is capable of but as a young player you have to find consistency and earn the trust of the manager.

South Wales Argus: Lewis Collins of Newport County celebrates after scoring the second goal against Forest Green

"If he can gain the trust of the new manager then he has a bright future but he is on that borderline at the moment, which way is he going to go?

"There is no doubt that he has the talent but has he got the mindset and mentality to work with that as well."

County's academy prospects progressed to the second round of the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night, with Bodin interested in the next generation of talent from the east of Wales.

Aneurin Livermore, Lewys Twamley, Jack Karadogan and Sonny Lewis have all received international age-grade call-ups this season and will hope to push towards the U21s in coming seasons.

"There are younger players that we are watching and Sonny is a lad that we have got high hopes for, along with one or two others at Newport," said Bodin.