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Thursday 7 August Updated Wednesday 18 February

Collins: 'We're full of confidence'

James Collins insists the West Ham United squad are in buoyant mood ahead of the new campaign, despite a testing pre-season campaign to date.

The Hammers suffered the blow of an injury to Andy Carroll and have gone through a run of indifferent results, but Collins is convinced the pieces will fall into place come the big kick-off against Tottenham Hotspur on 16 August.

Before that, Sam Allardyce's men face Sampdoria for the Marathonbet Cup on Saturday and the defender is looking forward to the dress rehearsal.

"The mood is great, as good as ever," he said. "It's a great squad and an easy one for the new lads to come into. They've settled in really well and we're full of confidence.

"We want to get off to a better start than we did last year, and that's what we're working towards.

"The Schalke Cup gave a good workout for all the lads, we expected tough, good games and that's what we got."

Enner Valenca has arrived at Chadwell Heath this week and Collins is excited by his presence as the Hammers look for a better season in 2014/15.

"Enner has got goals in him, which is what we need, so hopefully he can fit in straight away and score some goals," he added.

"We wanted to push into that top ten last year and we were bitterly disappointed that we finished 13th.

"In the grand scheme of things that wasn't horrific, but we want to kick on and better the first year we were in the Premier League."

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