Collins targeting top half

Hammers defender is eyeing a strong season after opening win

James Collins: Unimpressed with the threat posed by his former Aston Villa team

New arrival James Collins believes West Ham can finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season.

Collins returned to West Ham from Aston Villa in the summer and played his part as the Hammers beat his old club 1-0 at Upton Park on Saturday.

The 28-year-old was encouraged by the way his new team nullified the threat of Paul Lambert's side and is impressed with the blend that Sam Allardyce has found at West Ham.

Collins, quoted in The Sun, said: "There's no reason why we can't aim for a top-10 spot with the squad we've got.

"We looked fitter than Villa, we have got some strong and quick boys in midfield.

"We may not have passed the ball as much as Villa but the fight and team spirit got us through.

Mixture

"Our home form is going to be massive. And if we play like we did today then there's no reason why we can't have a great season.

"We've put together a great squad - a good mixture of youth and experience."

Not only did Collins think the Hammers looked fitter than Villa, he was also unimpressed by the opposition's patient build-up play - claiming he and Winston Reid were untroubled in central defence.

"I don't mean to be disrespectful, as much as they passed it, they didn't get near our goal," added Collins.

"So me, Winston and the boys at the back were quite happy with the job we did."