Jack Collison climbed off the bench to land a massive three points for the Hammers on Saturday as they inflicted just a second home defeat of the season on Stoke City.

Collison entered the fray early as a substitute for the injured Matt Taylor and made his mark before the break, slotting past Asmir Begovic after being fed by Ricardo Vaz Te.

It sealed a first away win of 2013 for the Hammers and got them back to within striking distance of the top ten.

A delighted Collison spoke to West Ham TV at the final whistle.

He said: "It's a massive three points for us. It's a clean sheet and it pushes us back up the table so we can look forward rather than behind us again.

"The boys at the back were magnificent on Saturday. Jussi dealt with everything very well and that gives confidence to the players in front of him to dig in and work hard, because we knew that if we got a chance we'd take it.

"Thankfully we did today, it's a great win, a big three points and lots of positives to take.

"Obviously we know what Stoke are like, the manager's prepped us on it all week. We had a game plan, we dug in, and kept a clean sheet, which was the main thing because we wanted to come away with something. Thankfully we came away with the three points."

Collison's strike was his second of the season and the 24-year-old Welshman was delighted to play his part.

He continued: "It was nice to get on the pitch. Any minutes I get at the moment I'm just enjoying, and trying to do my best to stake a claim in the starting XI.

"Hopefully today helped my cause a little bit and put me in the manager's thoughts for the upcoming games between now and the end of the season.

"We know what sort of player Vaz is, he does some great stuff at times, and obviously he did magnificently to find me [for the goal]. I managed to turn and find the bottom corner, and the rest is history.

"The boys dug in for the second half, kept it tight. We got a 1-0 win and we're buzzing."

The Hammers have only three games in March so Collison felt it was vital to get off to a good start at Stoke.

He added: "It's a little bit of a funny month for us, March, with only three games, but we'll be working hard in training with the extra time we have. It also gives us a chance to get a few more bodies back.

"So we'll go into the Chelsea game full of confidence and hopefully with a fully fit squad, but it was massive to get the win on Saturday.

"We've struggled a little bit on our travels so it's a big positive for us to get the points on the board and what will be even more pleasing for the manager I'd imagine is the clean sheet."

West Bromwich Albion