The former Aston Villa player acknowledges that under previous boss Pat Fenlon there is every chance the Hibees would have surrendered all three points following Kris Doolan's opener for the visitors.
But, while the Edinburgh club were far from fluent, they showed the requisite spirit and determination to rescue a draw in the dying embers of the encounter, with Collins smashing home his first goal since September 21 from close range.
"Sometimes things have to change, and things have changed here. The new mentality is a never say die attitude," said the former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international.
"Saturday was a good way to show our character. We would possibly have lost that game in the past.
"Their keeper (Scott Fox) pulled off a couple of great saves earlier in the game and then we had the setback of conceding the goal.
"But our mentality now is that we will keep plugging away and thankfully we finally got the ball over the line in the 92nd minute, so it's a good point all round."
Having endured an underwhelming start to life at Hibs since arriving from Swindon in July, Collins is hopeful his dramatic leveller against Thistle will ignite his season.
Now with three goals for the season, the 22-year-old added: "Hopefully I can go on a run now and get a couple more.
"Strikers live and die on their goal record and if you are finding the net regularly then that is a great confidence boost."