Search

King James rises to the occasion for West Ham

17:07 12 February 2014

West Ham United vs Norwich. Upton Park. Collins scores first goal.

West Ham United vs Norwich. Upton Park. Collins scores first goal.

Archant

Hammers centre half James Collins grabbed the vital first goal against Norwich City on Tuesday night

With West Ham clinging on to a goalless draw and the prospect of remaining firmly in the relegation scrap, up popped James Collins to grab the vital opening goal.

Mo Diame’s cross saw the centre half arrive late into the penalty area, get in front of Norwich keeper John Ruddy and reach the ball first – and the rest is history.

“I thought I was going to get clattered,” smiled the 30-year-old Wales international defender following the 2-0 win over the Canaries on Tuesday night.

“I heard him coming, so I thought I would be challenging him to be honest, but I’ve nipped in front of him and the ball has skimmed off my head and flown in.”

It was Collins’ first goals since his double against Manchester United in the FA Cup last season and much longer since he last scored in the league, something he is certainly not happy with.

“I just had a look and I think it is two, or two and a half years since I scored in the league,” revealed Collins.

“I got two in the FA Cup, but nothing in the league and it is not good enough really, for the amount of balls we put in the box as well as corners, so to get one at a vital stage, I was happy with myself and for the club.”

Many thought that the Hammers would struggle once Andy Carroll’s suspension was confirmed last week, but the team have risen to the task and secured two more 2-0 victories to go with the one that Carroll engineered against Swansea City.

“I just think having Andy around the place has given us all a lift,” reflected Collins. “If I was a centre half playing against West Ham and he was in the tunnel next to me, I would know I was in for tough game.

“He got suspended which was disappointing, but it has given a chance for others to come in. Carlton Cole has been great and Marco Borriello has done well as well.

“We haven’t had a squad together like this for a long time, so I think everyone can see there is a lot of confidence.”

Jaded

Things did not always go to plan on Tuesday as Norwich carved out some good chances, but the defender thinks that the team were still a little jaded after their fine victory at Villa Park on Saturday.

“There was some tiredness, certainly myself anyway,” confessed Collins. “It was a tough old game on Saturday, they really put it on us in the second half and we had to defend for long periods.

“But the crowd got behind us and we got the late goals which is brilliant.”

Nothing for granted

Victory moved West Ham up to 10th place before last night’s games, but Collins is still taking nothing for granted.

“The pressure is never off until you have got the sacred 40 points,” he said. “We knew that it would have been quite easy to think before the Norwich game that we had already done the job, but this was a massive game.

“I think until we got out there, we didn’t realise just how big the game was.

“We knew if we could put three wins together it would move us up from 17th or 18th to 10th, so it is nice to see results going for us.”

It certainly is.

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

6 minutes ago
Edward Kennett of Lakeside Hammers (pic: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO)

Australian ace visits with Swindon

21 minutes ago
Tom Toolis in swimming action at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Berlin (pic: Mirko Seifert/Pentathlon GB)

Essex boy discusses Olympic ambition and why Bath University will be familar terrority

51 minutes ago
Rainham captain Jas Hothi hits out (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Skipper is away this weekend but expects his side to keep up title charge

11:00
Havering's Alice Brown, Peter Brinton-Quinn, Adelaide Thatcher-Gray and Robyn Moody (pic: Richard Brown)

Quartet help county teams onto podium

Most read sport

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder