West Ham new boy: I love playing with Abdy the tank!

West Ham loan star Danny Collins celebrated his first start for the Hammers with his first goal in the 1-1 draw at Leeds.

New West Ham defender Danny Collins has been there, seen it and bought the t-shirt, so perhaps it was not too surprising that he was still battling at the end on Saturday to the point where he was able to grab a dramatic late equaliser against Leeds United.

When Winston Reid was injured while on international duty, manager Sam Allardyce delved back into the loan market and if he had put all the co-ordinates he needed to fill the defensive void, the computer would probably have come up with Collins.

“This lad has stepped into a strange environment, but other than that he has been really comfortable,” said the Hammers boss about his loan signing from Stoke City.

“The experience that Danny has got is invaluable at this stage of the season, he has helped Sunderland to promotion twice from the Championship.”

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The Welshman helped the Black Cats into the top flight back in 2005, even coming on as a substitute when they clinched the title at Upton Park that season and helped them to repeat the feat in 2007 when they once again too the title and the route back to the Premier League.

Stoke City paid nearly �3million for his services and the left-footed defender will now try to make it a hat-trick of promotions with the Hammers.

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Goals like Saturdays will help his and West Ham’s cause, even though he admitted it was a little lucky.

“Obviously I am delighted with the goal to get back on level terms after it looked like we had lost the game after they had scored so late on,” admitted the 31-year-old centre back.

“Overall I thought we coped pretty well with them. Myself and Abdy Faye kept them pretty quiet and they didn’t have too many chances. They scored a pretty scruffy goal, but to our credit we have battled on, managed to get up there and I have popped up with what was a scruffy goal.

“I got my head on to it, but it has also come off my shoulder I think.”

With James Tomkins, first being employed in midfield at Elland Road and then being forced off with injury, Collins could well be vital for West Ham’s hopes for the rest of the season.

So could renewing his old partnership with former Stoke City team-mate, Faye.

“I have played alongside Abdy before at Stoke and I know what he is like,” explained Collins.

“He is a big tank isn’t he! He wins everything in the air and he reads the game well and he is a good lad to play alongside.

“Off the pitch he is a big gentle giant really, but once he is out there, he puts himself in there and you know what you are going to get from him.”

It seems what you are going to get from Collins is some solid defensive play. He rarely looked ruffled against an in-form Leeds United side who hardly created a chance all afternoon and that augers well for the rest of the campaign according to the player as long as they can improve at the other end.

“West Ham were at the top when I came here and from what I had seen on TV, they had been playing some good stuff,” said Collins.

“Although we didn’t create many chances, we did have some good possession at times, but we need to try and create a bit more.

“We will take a point here. It is a tough place to come and they have just come off the back of a good win at Middlesbrough so overall we have got to be pretty pleased with the point, even though the two teams above us have both won.”

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