Day updates on Collins absence

Mervyn Day has paid tribute to the strength in depth at West Ham United after the misfortune of losing James Collins to a knee injury.

The Wales defender was hurt just after the half-hour mark in Wednesday's reserve-team fixture against Portsmouth, which was played at the home of FA Cup giant-killers Havant and Waterlooville. Assistant manager Day, who was watching from the sidelines in midweek, told WHUTV that Collins had suffered suspected ligament damage to his right knee.

He said: "It wasn't the best pitch in the world but that had nothing to do with James's injury." When he went down, Collins was instantly aware of the seriousness and motioned to the sidelines for assistance, before eventually being carried off on a stretcher. "Having seen it again on the video, it looks such an innocuous challenge," Day added. "He has fallen awkwardly, the opponent has fallen on top of him and all of a sudden you are looking at some considerable time out of the picture."

Collins had been back in the first-team reckoning of late, appearing as an unused substitute in the last three league outings. His route to the starting eleven had been blocked by the form of Matthew Upson and Anton Ferdinand, while Jonathan Spector has also impressed. With Danny Gabbidon coming through the midweek match unscathed after his own groin troubles - plus the experience of Christian Dailly and the youthful progress of James Tomkins - Day knows the squad will again hold firm.

"We have been blessed by the fact we have had six senior centre-backs," he said. "People have looked at it and thought why are you carrying that amount but invariably we have never had those players all fit at the same time and as one or two can double up and play full-back as well, it is important we have had the bodies available. For the squad, essentially we probably are a bit top heavy with players but with the injury problems we have sustained this year, we have needed it."

Day also had a word for Calum Davenport, who because of the many options open to Alan Curbishley, went on loan to Watford last week - only to fracture a bone in his neck within 43 minutes of his debut. "We have covered just about everything that could happen this year," he said, before adding that such adversity has simply served to demonstrate how West Ham United have been blessed by players willing to make the most of their opportunities. "It has been proved time and time again."

Log on or register with WHUTV now to hear more from Day on the progress within the squad before the visit of Liverpool on Wednesday night - as well as exclusive training ground footage and action from the midweek match.