Jack wants home run

Jack Collison is hoping to make his home debut this weekend against Everton after a strong showing away at Middlesbrough last Saturday.

Collison started his first game under Gianfranco Zola at the Riverside after impressing as a substitute at Old Trafford four days earlier. The 20-year-old midfielder's only other two appearances for the first team were also away from home - last season at Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal - and it has left him craving a first-team game in front of the Boleyn Ground faithful.

"I haven't made an appearance at Upton Park yet so hopefully it will be nice to get in and around the team again and if I get the chance I'm going to try and take it with both hands," Collison said. "Playing in front of your own fans is what it's all about and it's what I want to be doing every week. It would be nice to start on Saturday because I remember from the very first time I came to Upton Park as a child and heard the crowd singing 'Bubbles' it sent shivers down my spine."

Only a fine late save from Ross Turnball prevented Collison marking his fourth appearance in a West Ham United shirt with his first goal for the club. Although disappointed at not finding the net, he sees the experience as an indicator of where to concentrate his work at Chadwell Heath this week. "We created some great opportunities and I could have had a couple of goals myself. They were bad chances [to miss] so I'm going to get back on the training pitch and try and improve.

"It's great because the manager has come in and there's a real buzz about the place. We're playing good football, working hard in training and striving to improve as a team. The gaffer gives you that confidence to go out and play and wants us to play with freedom, which is nice."

Hayden Mullins, West Ham United's goal-scorer at Middlesbrough, has watched Collison's recent development and is not surprised at how easily he slotted into the first-team. Mullins said: "We always knew Jack could go out there and play in the Premier League - it was just a matter of him having his chance.

"Everyone knows what Jack can do because he does it every week in training and he got his reward at Middlesbrough. Jack and Freddie [Sears] are two very good young players and we've also got Kyel Reid, who's looking very strong as well this year."