Tomkins - Collins is great for me

James Tomkins relished the chance to renew his old partnership with James Collins at the heart of the West Ham defence on Saturday and feels the Welsh international was one of the star performers at Selhurst Park.

Tomkins has forged a close relationship with Collins since he arrived at the Club ten-years ago and has played a number of games alongside the experienced defender.

With Winston Reid sidelined through injury, Collins started his first Premier League game of the campaign, but showed once again why he is rated so highly by the Hammers with another outstanding performance.

Tomkins says the 'Ginger Pele' always provides strong leadership qualities and feels it has been a memorable week for the 32-year-old after he was part of the Wales squad that reached their first major international tournament since 1958.

Tomkins said: “We have played together for a long period. Ginge speaks a lot at the back and aerially he has shown again what he can do, winning a lot of the headers.

“It is nice to play alongside him and he is great for me. He is obviously a very experienced player and has played a lot of games.”

Tomkins was thrilled to see the Hammers maintain their superb away record this season as they made it four wins from five games on their travels with an impressive 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.

The West Ham United defender had special praise for the impact that Manuel Lanzini had on the game and joked that the players could forgive Dimitri Payet as he produced a stunning finish to secure another crucial three points.

Tomkins added: “Manuel is so sharp and offers us something different to other players in the team.

“We have got the likes of Dimi and Victor who have come into the squad and obviously Mauro has come back fit and they are tricky kind of players. They have a low sense of gravity and are hard to defend against.

“Manuel did well against Palace and got an important goal to help us go 2-1 up and it was an important goal. We finished it off well with a good goal from Dimi.

“You can tell the class that he has got with the composure he has got. He sat the keeper down and then chipped the ball over him. When players have got that ability, we treasure that at the minute.

“He was disappointed that he has not played to the level he can in the second half, but we can forgive him when he scores a goal like that.

“Pardew has done a really good job and managed to turn things around at Palace. It is a hard place to get a result, let alone a win so it is an unbelievable result.”

Tomkins sees no reason why the Hammers cannot maintain their impressive record against the big teams this season and come away with another three points when they face Chelsea on Saturday.

After beating Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, the 26-year-old feels the players are full of confidence as they prepare to face the Premier Leage champions and says he will relish his own personal battle when he comes up against Diego Costa at the Boleyn Ground.

“We have got another big game on Saturday and another hard team to play against. You can forget about their results in the league this season and Chelsea are still a great team with great players.

“We have beaten the best teams so far this season and there is no reason why we cannot do the same against Chelsea with the fans behind us. We are all looking forward to it.

“Costa is a hard player to play against and he is aggressive, but we all look forward to playing against the best players in the world.”