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2013-08-19T06:00:00 Updated 2015-02-19T00:11:06

Collins has no room for sentiment

James Collins left no room for sentiment as he helped West Ham United to a clean sheet and 2-0 victory over his old side Cardiff City on Saturday.

The 29-year-old defender started his career with the Bluebirds and played 66 league games for the club before moving on to the Hammers for his first spell in E13 in 2005.

Cardiff were beginning their first top flight campaign in 41 years, but Collins was only concerned with registering three points for Sam Allardyce's team.

"It was great to keep a clean sheet and score two goals," he said. "We went in at half time thinking we could have gone in more than one up, but we were delighted to come out 2-0 winners on the first day of the season.

"We started the game looking to keep a clean sheet because if you do that the worst you can do is draw the game.

"With the boys we've got up front, we know that if we keep the clean sheet we're more than likely going to win the game. Overall we're really happy.

"It felt like carrying on from what we did last season. The gaffer reminded us that we only lost four at home last year, and that was against the top eight teams.

"We're looking to do that again, the gaffer drilled it into us again that we've got to make this place a fortress and we started that on Saturday."

The Hammers' goals came in each half, the first a smart turn and finish from Joe Cole, the second a fine swept shot into the top corner from Kevin Nolan.

Collins continued: "They were two really good goals, you know what you're going to get from Kev when the ball drops for him anywhere near the box, it's normally a goal.

"Joe's been on fire in pre-season, so it's great for both of them [to score] and it's given us a great start."

After a three month break, the sense of anticipation was clear amongst the Hammers fans prior to kick-off and Collins revealed that the atmosphere gave the team a real boost.

He explained: "I looked at Mark Noble before the game when the fans were singing Bubbles and I've never heard anything like it.

"Me and Mark caught eyes and didn't know what to say. It was great, another game sold out and that's going to be massive for our home form.

"When they start singing before the game it's hairs on the back of your neck stuff. If they're like that all year it'll be great."

Next for West Ham is a trip to Newcastle United and Collins is eyeing that as an early chance to improve the away form of last year.

He added: "We're looking to improve our away form. I thought we played well away last year but didn't get the results - we only won three.

"We want to improve that, as we are everywhere - our home form, goals conceded and goals scored. We're got a good chance to start that on Saturday.

"It was a good game up there last year. They won't be happy with what they did last season, they'll think they should have finished higher.

"Winning on the first day of the season is massive, so we'll go there with confidence, look to keep a clean sheet and hopefully grab a couple of goals."


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