Freedman replaced Stuart Pearce as the Forest boss at the start of February and quickly began to make a stamp on the team.
Under the Scot, the Nottingham-based outfit recovered their confidence and started winning games.
Until Tuesday, Forest had won five of their six games under Freedman, and there were talks that they could make a push for the Championship playoff places in the final months of the season (click here to read more).
Although the Reds lost their unbeaten record under the 40-year-old on Tuesday when they went down 2-1 at Charlton Athletic, Freedman’s impact on the team cannot go unheralded.
Collins has now revealed what Freedman did for the players when he took over from Pearce.
“Winning games brings confidence back into the team,” the 34-year-old told Forest’s official website. “It’s a good group of lads - we knew that. Obviously the gaffer just needed to get it back out of the boys.
“The run we were one previously was tough - you’re wondering where your next win is coming from. We went down to Brighton and managed to dig in and get a result there and it’s just gone on from there really. “
Forest have a good team with some quality players, but towards the end of Pearce’s reign, they seemed to have lost confidence in themselves and had a dip in form.
Freedman brought that confidence back, with Henri Lansbury’s return to form that has seen him among the goals on a regular basis evidence of that.
Forest’s defeat to Charlton on Tuesday has probably decimated their chances of finishing in the playoffs, but the foundation for a successful 2015-16 campaign is being laid by Freedman.