Collins looks ahead

James Collins was making no excuses after West Ham United came up short against Tottenham Hotspur in the opening match of the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Although the Wales defender was perhaps one of the most impressive performers on view for Gianfranco Zola's side, he was unable to help the team avoid a 1-0 defeat in difficult conditions - not that he was complaining about the weather in China. "It is not nice playing in heat like that but we can't use it as an excuse.

"We knew it was going to be tough and to be honest I don't think any of the boys are too happy with their performance but that is what pre-season is for and we will be looking to work on that."

Collins forged a decent partnership with captain Matthew Upson, and was singled out for praise by the local media gathered at the Beijing Workers Stadium. For his part, he echoed his manager's determination in only thinking of making amends when the teams meet again in the more typical surrounds of the Boleyn Ground on Sunday 23 August.

"It is never nice losing to Spurs," he said. "You don't want to lose any game, especially against a local rival. It was a tough game and, like the manager said, we can use it as things to look on that we need to improve. I am sure we will be doing that in the next couple of weeks before we meet them again in the second game of the season."