Search

West Ham’s ‘Ginger Pele’ is so important when the pressure is on

PUBLISHED: 10:27 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 April 2017

STRATFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: West Ham United's James Collins during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Swansea City at London Stadium

STRATFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: West Ham United's James Collins during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Swansea City at London Stadium

Archant

‘I could be here until I’m 75! says Collins

STRATFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: West Ham United's James Collins clears the ball to safety during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Swansea City STRATFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: West Ham United's James Collins clears the ball to safety during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Swansea City

The final whistle blew and West Ham defender James Collins fell to his knees and beat the ground with his fists.

It was a similar reaction to the one the fans had and shows just how much this club means to the Wales international.

“It was just sheer relief,” said the 33-year-old after the vital 1-0 win against Swansea City.

“I have been thinking about it all week and I knew how big this game was and obviously coming back into the team I wanted to do well and get a clean sheet.”

Swansea City's Jordan Ayew (left) and West Ham United's James Collins battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the London Stadium. Swansea City's Jordan Ayew (left) and West Ham United's James Collins battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

He certainly did that with a swashbuckling performance where his trademark blocking and getting in where it hurts was to the fore, especially as the Swans put on some late pressure.

It was the first clean sheet since the win over Crystal Palace in mid-January and the sense of relief was palpable.

“It was a massive win, a huge win,” he said. “It didn’t matter how we did it, it was all about getting the three points and a clean sheet and that is what we have done.

“A clean sheet should be the benchmark for us in any game. We have to keep clean sheets and with the boys we have going forward we should score goals, so to get both is massive.

“We should have made it more comfortable in the last 15 minutes than we did, but we stuck in there and got what we deserved.”

The three points will no doubt ease the pressure on manager Slaven Bilic, but for the veteran defender he could not understand the speculation in the first place.

“It is a weird one because I don’t see in football why the managers gets so much stick when the players need to take some responsibility,” added Collins.

“A lot of our boys have played in the Premier League for a long time now and they needed to step up to the plate and stand up for the gaffer.

“It is easy to hide behind the manager. I have been at clubs where the manager has taken a lot of stick when it is the players who have not performed.

“Everyone loves the gaffer and his staff and we were disappointed when he was getting all the stick when it was us not performing.

“You can’t not like Slaven. He is a legend of this football club and he has been getting a lot of stick. I am personally delighted we have got the win for him, because it was getting to him, you could see it in his face.”

The three points took the team to 36 points and gives them an eight-point cushion over the dreaded drop zone, so does Collins think that is enough to ensure survival?

He contemplates the question. “West Ham went down once on 43 points so you never know,” he said. “I think we will go on a roll now, it was just a case of getting the monkey off our back and now we have done it.”

It makes Saturday’s game against Sunderland a much more straight-forward proposition, but Collins, who still has another year on his contract at West Ham, is looking for the team to push on.

“There is a massive pressure off us,” he said. “Obviously we knew they were two big games, but we have got the win which was vital.

“Sunderland is still a massive game next week and I know it sounds crazy, but if we win we can almost get to 10th place or even higher.”

With Collins back in the team and showing the true spirit of the squad, you wouldn’t bet against them doing just that.

“I’ve got another year on my contract and I could be here until I’m 75!” he said. And why not?

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

13 minutes ago

St Mary’s Lane club play final game of calendar year this weekend

43 minutes ago

Lisa Wilson spoke of her late son Tom’s decision to donate his organs this week as health secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a new opt-out plan in England, writes Lee Power.

13:00

Leyton Orient look to avoid an FA Trophy giant-killing when they visit Haringey Borough in the first round on Saturday.

11:00

London Raiders will wrap up for Christmas after playing Invicta in a back-to-back fixtures this weekend, writes Jacob Ranson.

10:36

England failed to cash in on centuries from Middlesex’s Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow as familiar problems persisted on a fluctuating second day in the third Ashes Test.

10:30

A superb solo goal from Sue Harwood saw Havering upset East Two South East leaders Canterbury at Campion.

09:58

O’Sullivan both powered and power-napped his way into the quarter-finals of the Dafabet Scottish Open, seeing off the challenges of Li Hang and Michael White.

09:00

Magnificent Martin J Ward crowned a great year by claiming the European super-featherweight title at Bethnal Green’s York Hall on Wednesday.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now