Collins eager for Arsenal repeat

The last time James Collins turned out at the Emirates Stadium, on 7 April 2007, West Ham United secured a heroic 1-0 victory on the way to their 'Great Escape' from Barclays Premier League relegation.

Since then, the Wales international defender had endured a frustrating period, spending ten months battling back to full fitness after suffering a serious knee ligament injury in a reserve team fixture at Portsmouth in January 2008. Now, the 25-year-old is back in the Hammers team and at the top of his game.

Preparing to return to the scene of that memorable afternoon 21 months ago, Collins believes Gianfranco Zola's in-form side have every chance of extending their six-match unbeaten run away from home in north London.

"Of course if we play the way we did in the first half against Fulham and go there with the right attitude I think we can give them a good game. We beat them there a couple of years ago and there's no reason why we can't do it again."

"I think this is the highest I can remember confidence being in my time at the club. Obviously playing games gives you confidence and that's what I'm doing at the minute. I've been a bit unfortunate the last few seasons with injury but I'm playing now and that builds confidence. I'm playing in a great team. Everyone's playing good football and it's a pleasure to be involved in."

Collins insists the Hammers' recent success can be put down to the hard work the players and coaching staff are putting in every day on the training pitch. Manager Zola and first-team coaches Steve Clarke and Kevin Keen are using all their know-how to give United the best possible chance of picking up points in every single match - including Saturday's match at Arsenal.

"We split it up in training. We have certain days when we do defending and certain days when we do attacking. It's not just the back-four that are defending well. It is the whole team that is chipping in. The boys are defending from the front. It's a group effort all over the pitch and I think that shows. We're playing football the West Ham way and we're getting results."

The defender, who arrived at the Boleyn Ground from Cardiff City in July 2005, is also quick to heap praise on his team-mates, including central defensive partner Matthew Upson and West Ham United and Wales team-mate Jack Collison.

"I think we [myself and Matthew] both complement each others' game quite well. We're both half-decent on the ball and are both aggressive players. From a personal point of view it's just great being back in the team and performing well and I'm just looking forward to every game.

"Jack has been brilliant. I saw him early doors away with the Under-21s with Wales and the quality he was showing there. To come here and train and be given his chance by Mister, he is showing his class. Hopefully he's working in a good midfield with Valon [Behrami], Scotty [Parker] and Mark [Noble] and all of them are putting in good performances. Long may it continue."