- James Collins content with point and clean sheet from goalless Premier League draw at Stoke City
- West Ham United defender helped side keep third clean sheet in last four matches
- Hammers are now on four-match top-flight unbeaten run with three games left to play
James Collins accepted a point and a third clean sheet in four matches after West Ham United drew 0-0 at Stoke in the Premier League.
The Wales centre-back put in another resilient display at the bet365 Stadium, where the Hammers arguably created the better chances of the two sides over the course of the 90 minutes.
Goalkeepers Jack Butland and Adrian were both in unbeatable form, making a series of fine saves to ensure their respective sides left the Potteries with a share of the spoils and a point apiece.
“I think we’re happy with a point,” Collins admitted. “I think if someone had offered us that before the game, we’d have taken it, as they’ve been playing really well at home and scoring lots of goals, so to come and get another clean sheet is good.”
A switch to a five-man defence has led to a more organised and compact series of performances in recent weeks, helping West Ham to compile a four-match unbeaten run that has carried them to 39 points and all but secured their top-flight future.
I think if someone had offered us that before the game, we’d have taken it, as they’ve been playing really well at home and scoring lots of goals, so to come and get another clean sheet is good
“I think the system is probably suiting us at the minute, to be fair. It’s taken us a bit of time to get used to it, as we tried it earlier in the season and it didn’t go too well.
“In the last few games, we’ve defended really well when we needed to. We needed to pick up points coming away and I’ve always said that getting a point away from home in the Premier League, so we’re happy.”
Having kept clean sheets against Swansea City, Everton and now Stoke since his return to the team five matches ago, Collins believes the Hammers have established a more solid base on which to build in their remaining three matches – Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at home followed by a final-weekend trip to Burnley.
“You can’t lose game if you don’t concede, so we’re just getting back to basics, really,” the No19 observed. “Looking at the game, I think we probably had the majority of chances.
“Certainly Andre [Ayew] had a great overhead kick saved and we had a few other ones, but coming away and getting a point at this stage of the season is good.
“We’ve had two nil-nils in a row, which is great for me personally as a defender, as I’m paid to keep clean sheets. We have probably lacked a bit up front in the last two games, but we’ve still picked up points.”