West Ham Collins: Hard work was the key to our improvement
PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 October 2016
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Hammers defender James Collins said the players' night out gave them the chance to discuss tactics
When things are not going your way, especially in defence, you need a big no-nonsense defender tin the trenches with you.
Nobody epitomises that more than Wales international James Collins and he played his part in helping the Hammers end that five game losing streak, albeit with a home draw against Middlesbrough.
“I think it will have helped with our confidence,” said the 33-year-old after the 1-1 draw. “Obviously we are disappointed that we didn’t get the win, but I thought we played very well in the first half, but just didn’t get the goal.
“To concede a goal from a set-play was very disappointing, but we showed a bit of character, got back in it and then held on for the point.”
The defence have been the problem in recent weeks and Collins pinpointed what the problem was.
“We knew what we had to do,” he said. “We haven’t been working hard enough and we were looking at that all week.
“I watched the game last week because I wasn’t involved and that was evident from what I saw.
“We had some discussions about that and everyone accepted that we needed to work harder and I think we did against Boro.
“You aren’t going to win a game when you are showing a lack of effort, so we were determined to try harder this week.”
One difference in the team was the inclusion of midfielder Pedro Obiang and Collins was full of praise for the Spaniard.
“I thought he was fantastic,” said the big defender. “He hasn’t played in the Premier League for a while, but I thought he came in and was top drawer. He breaks play up, wins the ball and that is jwhat we need.”
Despite the point, West Ham still sit in the bottom three in the Premier League, so does Collins think that they deserve to be there?
“I think it is a false position if you look at our squad,” he said. “We have had a terrible start there are no two ways about it, but it can only improve.
“We have got a great squad here, it is the best I have ever been in, but we know we have to work harder.”
Much has been written about West Ham’s infamous night out at the beginning of last week, but the experienced centre half simply shakes his head.
“I think there was a lot written that didn’t need to be. If it was last year and we were seen out, nothing would have been said,” he commented.
“Sometimes a night out like that where we are sat round a table discussing ideas is a good as a training session.
“You boys probably do it in the press room and we are no different to that. Southampton did it last week. Just sit round the table, have a chat and see where it is going wrong.”
It certainly seems to have helped.Despite the flak the team got in the press this was a much improved display and an important one.
“We knew it was a massive game,” he said. “We know we can score goals and we probably should have scored more, but we didn’t concede as many as well have been and we have got the point, so it is something to build on.”