Newsflash! James Collins has found a new part of his body with which to block a shot!

West Ham United's fearless centre-back has thrown himself in the way of no fewer than 15 goalbound efforts in ten Barclays Premier League appearances this term - good enough for second in the division behind his Wales international team-mate Ashley Williams of Swansea City.

During Saturday's heroic goalless home draw with champions Manchester City, Collins was at it again, repelling Gael Clichy's 75th-minute shot with his torso after diving full-length, head-first, on the edge of the penalty area!

A clean sheet was no more than Collins, his central defensive partner WInston Reid and the rest of the West Ham team deserved for a superbly resolute performance against City's £120m strikeforce of Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and substitute Sergio Aguero.

"We were good but we knew we had to do it at home because, by our standards, we were poor last week at Wigan," said the man known to everyone at the club as Ginge. "Especially with the run of games coming up, we knew we had to come and play well and defend well and we have done that.

"Certainly in the second half we were camped on the edge of our box for long periods but that's what you have got to do against such a quality team. You know you are going to have to defend and not make mistakes. I think we did both of those things well.

"My performance was about right for me - I head it, kick it and block it! I'm happy. We're keeping clean sheets and defending well apart from a few games when we've been a bit slack and not on our game. Overall we've defended well as a team this season."

Collins said the Hammers had learned from their 3-1 home defeat by Arsenal on 6 October. Then, with the score at 1-1 going into the final 15 minutes the Hammers had committed men forward in search of a winner, only to be picked off by Theo Walcott's counter-attacking goal and go on to lose the game.

On Saturday, the tactical approach was to defend deep, conserve energy and not allow City space to play in and around the home penalty area. The plan paid off.

"In games gone by we have gone out all guns blazing and chasing and chasing to try to close the other team down and win the ball back, but on Saturday the boss played it perfectly. We sat back let them play in front of us and then nicked the ball off them and went on the break - I think it worked perfectly.

"I think we opened ourselves up a little bit too much against Arsenal going for the goal and going for the win. Against teams like that you are going to get opened up [if you do that] but on Saturday we sat in and defended well and that was enough to get something from the game."

West Ham could even have won the game had Kevin Nolan's early volley not wrongly been ruled out for offside.

"On the pitch, I knew it wasn't offside. Sometimes you can just tell that it wasn't offside - especially Kev, as well, with the way he makes his runs he is rarely offside so that was disappointing, but we are happy with a point."

Next up for Collins and his colleagues is the long trip north to take on Newcastle United on Sunday. The Hammers were thrashed 5-0 at St James' Park on their most-recent visit in January 2011 and the Hammers will be determined to put on a better show this time around.

"Every game away from home is tough. Going back to the WIgan game, we've gone up there and not performed so fingers crossed we can go to Newcastle and put in a good performance there."

Stoke City