West Ham midfielder Collison knows the next few Hammers matches are vital

West Ham midfielder Jack Collison has admitted that the next few games will probably shape the rest of their season

West Ham midfielder Jack Collison has admitted that the next few games will probably shape the rest of their season.

The Hammers travel to relegation rivals Burnley, while the visits of Birmingham, Hull and Bolton to Upton Park over the next month should give the East End side an opportunity to pull clear of the relegation zone.

West Ham currently sit 15th, but are only one point from the bottom three and Collison realises how crucial the next three or four weeks will be to their survival bid.

"We're very realistic, we know what situation we're in," he said.

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"We know the next few games are going to be massive for us. We play a lot of the teams around us and it's up to us to keep working hard and put some points on the table.

"For me now it's about getting my head down and improving and improving the situation we're in as a team. At the end of the day it's about staying in the Premier League."

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Despite the obvious pressure surrounding the next crop of fixtures, Collison revealed that the team are wholly focused on Saturday's game against Burnley.

"We're just taking it one game at a time," he said.

"That's the best way to go about it, rather than worrying about what we've got to come.

"We've got to take it a game at a time, work hard for each other and just take as many points as we can."

Their chances of moving up the table increased this week as the club brought in striker Benni McCarthy and Collison has been impressed with what he has seen of the South African so far at their Chdwell Heath training ground.

"He trained on Friday but wasn't available today. But he looks a good signing and I think he's going to be a real positive for us.," he said.

"You know what you're going to get with him.

"He's a larger than life character. But he's also a very talented footballer and that's what we need.

"Hopefully he's going to score some goals for us and if he plays like he trained the other day I don't think it'll be a problem for him.

"He's come in and he's obviously looking to work hard and that's what we need right now.

"We're going to work hard and we're going to fight for each other and I'm sure Benni's going to do that and I'm sure the fans are going to enjoy watching him play because he's really good."

McCarthy's goals will be a welcome boost to West Ham, who drew 0-0 with the South African's former club Blackburn at the Boleyn last Saturday in a game where Collison felt his side underperformed.

"We're a bit disappointed we didn't get the ball down more and play because that's what we're about," he said.

"They made it hard for us ,and at the end of the day we didn't lose and we got a point out of the game.

"The positives are we're looking really solid as a team. We're defending really well. It's about us scoring goals and creating goals now.

"I'm trying my best. I'm definitely trying my hardest to score more and create more. It's something I'm trying to add to my game.

"It's been a little bit frustrating for me in the past few weeks because I've had my chances, but haven't been able to convert them.

"But I'm not going to stop trying and hopefully they'll start coming.

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