Collison wants Wigan win

Jack Collison was pleased to grab the winning goal in the 1-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday, but was quick to stress that West Ham United were only half way through what promises to be a "big week".

West Ham beat Mark Hughes' men at the Boleyn Ground thanks to the Wales international's 71st minute strike - a win that moved them four points clear of the visitors and into seventh position in the Barclays Premier League table.

There was little time to dwell on the result for Collison and his team-mates, however, as they were back at Chadwell Heath on Monday to prepare for Wednesday's game against eighth-placed Wigan Athletic at the JJB Stadium. Collison said: "We knew it was going to be a big week at the start of it but we've only done half of the job so far. If we can get the three points on Wednesday then we will have done it all.

"If we can win on Wednesday, we can consolidate seventh which at the moment looks like it could be a UEFA Cup spot and that's the target the manager has set us. We've got ten or eleven games now until the end of the season and we are going to look to kick on now rather than see the season out."


The Hammers created several excellent opportunities against City, but as well as demonstrating their usual fluid passing, there were times that required a bit of grit and determination - a challenge that Collison and his midfielders rose to superbly.

"This team always looks to go and play good football, that's what the manager wants from us and I thought we were outstanding at times. There were a couple of patchy moments but we've got a really good team spirit and we came through.

"It was a real battle but I think we've got the players that relish that like Scott Parker and Radoslav Kovac, who I thought was outstanding today in only his second game. It was a real team display and we managed to take one of our chances and not concede at the other end."

The 20-year-old midfielder showed his versatility after switching from the left to the right of midfield following Valon Behrami's first half injury and Collison was keen to highlight that the squad's thoughts were with the Swiss international while he awaits the results of further tests on his left knee.

"There were a lot of positives today; unfortunately the only downside was the injury to Valon. We're waiting to hear news on that now, but myself and the team wish him a speedy recovery as he's been massive for us this season."

Collison was one of nine players aged 23 or under in Gianfranco Zola's 18-man squad on Sunday, and is happy to act as an example to the other youngsters looking to break into the Italian's first-team plans.

"I played a couple of different positions today but I just love being out there and doing my bit for the team. I'm still young and fairly new to the team but I'm really enjoying my time out there and making the most of it. Playing alongside players like Scott Parker and Kovac, who have been there and done is really good for me.

"The manager has come in and is not scared to give the young players an opportunity. He gave me a chance at the beginning of the season and I haven't looked back since. So for the young players like Josh Payne and Junior Stanislas maybe it's an opportunity from now until the end of the season to win a place in the team."