Collins glad to be back in action

After a successful operation on the groin injury that has plagued him all season, James Collins was pleased to come through his first full 90 minutes of football since the Hammers' Premiership victory over Manchester United in December.

James delivered a characteristically confident performance against a strong Aston Villa reserve side at the Bescot Stadium last night.

"It was alright for the first 70 minutes then I started to get a bit tired at the end," he said. "But I was just glad to get through the 90.

"I had a couple of good chances and I should have scored really but it was just good to get through the game. I could probably do with another game but I've got a couple of weeks training before the next one so hopefully I can get some fitness there."

The Hammers reserves were on the receiving end of a 2-0 defeat, but James was happy to take the positives from the game.

"It was a disappointing result but they put a strong team out so it was a good game for everyone, the pros who came up to get some fitness and the young lads who were trying to gain experience.

"All credit to Villa for putting a team out like they did, it's a shame about the result but everyone got a run-out.

"We played alright, we let in two sloppy goals but that's what you get if you haven't had match practise. It's good to get 90 minutes of competitive football under the belt."

And James is hoping to capitalise on his return to action with the reserves by working hard to compete for a place in the first team.

"I've been in and out of the team with injury all season," he said. "But I've had the operation and everything seems well so, fingers crossed, I can make a stay in the team. I want to try and play well and make something of what's left of the season.

"I think I need a couple of days for the legs to recover now! But I've got a couple of weeks in training to get my fitness up and if I'm asked to play against Blackburn next weekend I'll be ready."