Collins holds cup hope
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
James Collins is aiming to stay in the West Ham team for the FA Cup semi-final.
James Collins is aiming to keep defensive rival Anton Ferdinand out of the West Ham team for the FA Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough.
With Ferdinand currently hampered by a groin injury, Collins has been partnering fellow Wales international Danny Gabbidon at the heart of The Hammers' defence.
He produced a solid display in Saturday's win over Manchester City and aims to retain his spot for Monday's Premiership tussle with Boro.
Collins is hoping another strong showing will hand West Ham manager Alan Pardew a selection poser ahead of the cup clash this weekend.
Ferdinand is aiming to be fit for the semi-final at Villa Park, but Collins feels his current form will give Pardew a problem.
"I have put pressure on the manager to consider me for the semi," said Collins.
"I came into the side before and didn't play nearly as well as I know I can.
"So to come in now and play somewhere near my best is good for myself and it has given me lots of confidence.
"Hopefully I can take that on into the semi-final. Anton has done so well this season, but I'll keep playing well as long as I'm asked to play well.
"Hopefully we can perform like we did in the first half against Man City and get the win that would take us to Cardiff."