Collins Out To Impress

DEFENDER James Collins is hoping to earn his first outing in a West Ham United shirt this evening, as Hammers prepare to face Falkenbergs FF in the opening game of their pre-season tour of Sweden.

The defender, who signed from Cardiff City earlier in the summer, is relishing the prospect of getting some game time and showing his new boss Alan Pardew just what he can do.

"I'm looking forward to the game tonight," insisted James. "It's always good to get involved with games straight away and I think all the lads are desperate to get going tonight.

"We trained this morning and it went well. The session was pretty tough fitness wise, but there's lots of preparation to be done and at this stage of pre-season you expect it to be a hard slog.

"Coming to a new club it's always good to get to play a competitive game with your new team-mates for the first time, and hopefully tonight I'll get my chance to be involved.

"It's always better to play rather than train, so it'll be a good work out for the lads."

This will be West Ham's first match in a three-game tour of southern Sweden. James is certainly enjoying the tour so far.

"You couldn't ask for a better bunch of lads here," he insisted. "I've settled into the squad really quickly and the lads have made it easy to become a part of the team.

"They've welcomed all the new boys to be honest and it's good to come away on trips like this because it helps to build the collective spirit of the squad.

"I've toured Sweden with my old club Cardiff City before. The people are always nice to us out here, very friendly and welcoming, and it's been an enjoyable experience so far."

Despite tonight's game being billed as merely a friendly, James insists that the Hammers will be out to put in an impressive performance in Falkenbergs.

"The lads will be wanting to play well and impress the manager," he admitted. "It's a friendly game in that there isn't anything to be played for, but we want to go out and win the game.

"Every game you want to win and if I play I'll be certainly giving everything to put in the best performance I can."