Collins fully focused on Premiership aim

James Collins insists that Hammers will be fully focused on getting back to winning ways in the Premiership at the weekend.

With our FA Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough now just 10 days away, the excitement is building ahead of the Villa Park showdown, but the Hammers defender says that Alan Pardew's men are concentrating on the busy Easter weekend that sees Manchester City visit Upton Park on Saturday, with a semi-final dress rehearsal against Boro just two days later at the Riverside Stadium.

The semi-final is a massive game but we've got two important Premiership matches before then," says James. "Our bread and butter is the Premiership and we want to finish as high as we possibly can, so that is our priority at the moment.

"Looking at Manchester City and Middlesbrough, we believe they are two winnable games in front of us, and we'll be doing everything we can to achieve that.

"Six points going into semi-final would do us the world of good and give the players a real boost, knowing that our league position is looking impressive."

Hammers will also be hoping to erase the memory of Sunday's 4-1 defeat against 10-men Chelsea, an afternoon that started so well for James following his 10th minute opening goal but finished miserably as the Premiership champions stepped up a gear after Portuguese midfielder Maniche was given his marching orders.

"We got off to a great start with the goal," says the Welsh international. "I usually go round the back for corners but John Terry was marking Dean Ashton so we tried to take him out of the picture and I managed to get a run at the near post.

"I was confident we could have kicked on after they had a man sent off, but it seemed to fire them on more than us really. To be honest, I can't really explain what happened after that, but Chelsea proved what a world class side they are.

"Some of their play was unbelievable, but at the same time we didn't defend very well and that is something we are determined to put right this weekend."