- Hammers defender James Collins believes striker Andy Carroll should be in line for an England recall
- The Big Man has not played for his country since 2012 but has been in fine form this season with six goals from 16 games
- Collins also looked ahead to Monday’s clash against Chelsea - a re-run of October’s magnificent EFL Cup win at London Stadium
James Collins believes England boss Gareth Southgate should not ignore Andy Carroll when he selects his next international squad in March.
West Ham United’s big front man has not represented his country since October 2012, but having scored six goals in 16 appearances for the Hammers this season, is likely to be on the Three Lions manager’s mind.
Collins, who trains with the 28-year-old on a daily basis, knows first-hand how daunting facing Carroll can be and thinks England can benefit from his unique skillset.
The defender said: “I think [Andy Carroll] should be [in the England squad]. A fit Andy Carroll is a handful for any defender.
“I know if I was playing against him and he was in the opposite team, I’d be in for a tough afternoon. It gives [England] something different.
“What Andy can do; I’ve never trained against a lad or played against a lad who is as physical and as good in the air as Andy, so I think it’s a no brainer for him to be in the squad as something different to what they’re used to.”
Carroll, who has sat out the Hammers’ last two matches through injury, looks set to return to the squad for the visit of Chelsea to London Stadium on Monday.
And Welsh international Collins, who scored against the Blues at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture this term, believes his side can take confidence from October’s EFL Cup victory against Antonio Conte’s men.
“We beat them at our place in the Cup so it shows they’ve got to come to us and it’s going to be a good night. They’ve shown their class in the last few weeks and they’re a top quality team.
“It’s easy for me to say, but it’s up to them to throw [the Premier League title] away now. They look strong. We played them in that first game of the season and you could see they were a strong team.
“Since then they have gone from strength to strength. It’s going to be tough.
“But confidence is high at the minutes and we had a nice trip away recently, a bit of team bonding, and everyone is looking forward to what’s coming up.
“It’s exciting and although we’ve got a tough run-in, everyone’s looking forward to it. I don’t think we were ever in danger. We had a couple of months being down there but we have a squad and a team to pick up better results.”
Ginge has been left out of Slaven Bilic’s starting XI on the last five occasions but remains a key figure in the dressing room, his experience vital among the younger members of the squad.
“I’m enjoying things more than ever [here],” the 33-year-old continued. “I’m not getting any younger but I’ve got next year at West Ham and it’s such a great group of lads we have here and the manager is top class.
“He’s amazing with me personally and with all the lads. It’s easy to go and train every day here and obviously I’d love to be playing, but I’ve got to work hard and train and try and get my chance again soon.”