Collins Strikes It Lucky

NO one could begrudge James Collins a small smile as he emerged from the Hammers dressing room on Saturday, after he finally got to make his Premiership debut.

The Welsh international came off the bench in the second-half to play as an emergency striker to add some physical presence to the Hammers attack.

And although his first League outing for West Ham United ended in defeat at Anfield, the 22-year-old was at least pleased to have finally got off the mark in the claret and blue.
He said: "I was delighted to get my chance. Obviously the result was not what we wanted because we went to Anfield with high hopes, but it wasn't to be.

"I was pleased to come off the bench and play a part in my first Premiership game for West Ham. It was a big moment for me."
Speaking about the Liverpool game, James admitted: "It was a tough place to go. Liverpool were under a bit of pressure themselves to perform well and get a result. Their fans were certainly looking for a performance.

"They played well and sometimes you have to put your hands up and say the better team won and that things didn't happen for us. We didn't get at them as much as we would have liked and maybe we should have put them under more pressure."
A centre-half his entire career, through the trainee ranks at Cardiff City to his international debut for Wales, James could hardly have imagined that he would make his Premier League debut as a centre-forward.
He said: "We were 1-0 down when I came on and the gaffer told me to go on and put myself about a bit. I went up front for a while against Bolton in the Carling Cup game and it was quite effective to a certain degree.

"I went on and tried to do my best, unfortunately for us, Liverpool got a second goal and that was that. But I got my Premiership debut and was obviously delighted with that."
Having overcome an unfortunate bout of injuries that sidelined James for the start of the season, the Welshman is now looking forward to fighting first-choice centre-backs Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon for a place in the starting line-up.
He said: "I want to just get as many games under my belt as I can and take my chances when they come along.

"As long as West Ham United keep getting my results, I'm happy to sit on the bench and do whatever the manager asks me to do.

"Every player wants to be playing, but this is a Premier League quality squad and with the sort of players we have at the Club I know that it's not going to be easy to get in and play every week.

"For me, it's just important that I keep working hard and make sure I do my bit for the team, because at the end of the day, a winning team is what counts.
"We've been doing really well, playing some good stuff and there's no reason why we can't bounce back and get a good result against West Brom this weekend.

"We'll be looking to get the maximum points and will be confident in showing what we can do back at our home ground again. We've got a good run going at Upton Park and we want to keep that up."