James Collins is ready to make a big impact at West Ham, after joining from Aston Villa for his second spell at the club.
Collins made his debut against his former employers in the 1-0 victory at Upton Park and was delighted with his own performance, nullifying the threat of Darren Bent.
Kevin Nolan scored the decisive goal five minutes before half-time to give the Hammers a perfect start to life back in the top-flight, but confusion unfolded as the linesman raised his flag, only for referee Mike Dean to overrule the decision as the resulting flick- on came from Villa’s Ciaran Clark.
Collins told the London Evening Standard: “It did help knowing Darren so well and the way he plays. I knew that he wouldn’t take the ball much in front but that he is such a threat over the top so we tried to stop that happening and seeing he had only one shot on goal, I suppose it worked.”
The Welsh international faces stiff competition in the centre-back position, with James Tomkins eager to re-claim his place in the side after being ousted by Collins.
Collins added: “I watched Winston (Reid) and James Tomkins last season and saw how well they played in the Championship. Obviously James was disappointed not to be in the starting line-up against Villa but the three points are all-important.”
Collins re-joined the Hammers for a fee of £2.5 million last month- a shrewd piece of business by Sam Allardyce at a club whose spending is restricted by the £10 million still owed to Sheffield United over the Carlos Tevez saga.
Bu the East Londoners’ business in the transfer market appears to be far from over, as Razak Boukari is on the verge of a move to Upton Park from French side, Rennes.
The Hammers’ interest in the Togolese international means a move for Wolves’ midfielder, Matthew Jarvis appears to be unlikely.
The Championship side are reportedly holding out for £10 million, while West Ham are only prepared to bid as high as £9 million.